Cllr. Donnelly welcomes Gormley’s decision to scrap e-voting machines

23 April 2009

Getting rid of failed voting devices only sensible course of action

The Green Party’s representative in the Carrigaline electoral area has welcome the announcement that Environment Minister John Gormley is to scrap the e-voting machines, that have so far cost the country €51m.

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, who is running for election to both Cork County Council and Passage West Town Council said: “The last government made a substantial investment of taxpayers’ money in purchasing the machines and subsequently storing them, since the Greens entered government John Gormley has worked to find the best outcome for taxpayers.

“He reduced storage costs from €706,000 in 2006 to €204,000 last year, while at the same as investigating whether it was possible to get the machines working.

“In principle, the idea of e-voting is a good one, but voting is such an important activity that it must be totally above board and free from manipulation or error. There was no way these e-voting machines could guarantee that without further substantial investment, so the only option is to dispose of the machines.

“This is ‘a legacy issue’ based on decisions taken mainly by the 1997-2002 FF-PD government, but the opposition were also enthusiastic backers of electronic voting – with Fine Gael’s John Bruton and Labour’s Ruairi Quinn very vocal in their support.

“A taskforce will now be established to work out how the storage arrangements can be terminated and the machines disposed while returning to the taxpayers as much money as possible, The Environment Minister has taken decision action on this – in the interests both of the taxpayer and the democratic system,” Cllr. Donnelly concluded. 

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