Opposition parties call for electronic voting delay

17 Feb 2004

Opposition parties will today call on the Government to delay the introduction of its controversial electronic voting initiative. The Government launched its electronic voting strategy two weeks ago as part of an extensive publicity campaign but computer experts have questioned the reliability of the system.

Now Fine Gael, Labour and the Green Party intend to discuss the issue with the Government over the next two days. They are expected to call for the introduction of electronic voting to be postponed. It is currently slated to be rolled out in every constituency in Ireland to be used in the forthcoming European and local elections in June.

It marks the first time since the formation of the current Government that the Opposition has come together to present a motion for debate in the Dáil.

Critics of the e-voting system chosen by the Government have said it lacks a voter-verified audit trail – a paper record to guarantee that the vote cast has been properly recorded by the machine.

Powervote, the UK company that developed the software used in the e-voting system, has defended its record, saying that its machines have been used for several years in Germany and Holland without any problems.

By Gordon Smith