Kathy Sheridan: The online threat to the integrity of Irish elections lies within

As a political party, Sinn Féin is not alone in its creation of a big internal voter database

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald and Eoin Ó Broin at a rally in Liberty Hall last year. The party has chosen to register its internal voter database, packed with voter details, to a US-hosted domain. Photograph: Tom Honan

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald and Eoin Ó Broin at a rally in Liberty Hall last year. The party has chosen to register its internal voter database, packed with voter details, to a US-hosted domain. Photograph: Tom Honan

People of a certain age will recall a time when canny canvassers could stand on a hill overlooking a townland and pronounce on the tribal affiliation of each household. Put a sack on a donkey, call it Fianna Fáil and they’ll vote for it, a rural candidate in a heap of trouble once assured me during a canvas.

We’ve moved on, we think. The floating voter is king now. Unshackled from old Civil War voting patterns we take pride in our PR electoral system, enthuse about televised debates as a good night in, and are never more delighted than in the throes of a 10-day count. The stubby pencils look a bit Luddite but are unhackable. We are a sophisticated electorate, we reckon.

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