Gormley rules out e-voting

 

MINISTER FOR the Environment John Gormley has said it is “inconceivable” that the State’s €52 million electronic voting machines will ever be used.

Mr Gormley, the Green Party leader, yesterday confirmed that he had written to party colleague Mary White this week informing the Carlow-based TD that it would cost €28 million to make the voting machines (which have been in storage for more than three years) suitable for use.

He said that three major problems were now associated with the project.

They were the new figures disclosing the high costs associated with introducing the system; continuing controversies over electronic voting in Holland and Germany; and a lack of public confidence in electronic voting.

The project to change the voting system in Ireland from manual to electronic has already cost the taxpayer more than €52 million.

The Government purchased new machines but abandoned plans to introduce the new system after doubts were raised about the veracity of the system. At present, the machines are in storage in locations through the country.

Mr Gormley said the problems seemed almost insurmountable.

“It is inconceivable at this stage that the machines will be used,” he said.

Mr Gormley said that his department’s approach to this issue had been very prudent.

“We looked at all the costings and had very thorough reports completed on this issue. They have concluded that the extra costs will run to €28 million,” he said.

Mr Gormley said that sometime after the emergency budget, he would bring the new information to his Cabinet colleagues, with a view to the Government taking a decision on the future of the controversial project.