[Fsfe-ie] E-voting and a free software solution.

Éibhear ifso at gibiris.org
Thu Apr 8 00:25:22 CEST 2004


There was an opinion piece on electronic voting in Tuesday's Irish Times 
by Annrai O'Toole and Brendan Tangney. The former is a founder of IONA 
and the latter a member of faculty in TCD. Both computing experts by all 

In general, their piece is as uninformed as the debate they decry. The 
ICTE is doing good work analysing the article and preparing a rebuttal. 
Whether the Irish Times will provide a right to reply is a different thing.

However, my concern is that in the middle of the piece, they propose 
that the government should fund an open source project to replace the 
counting software.[1] This is a good idea, but what I am afraid of is 
that the idea will be associated in many minds with a pair of 
commentators who were subsequently denounced, properly, by a 
well-informed group of people.

I don't know what will happen to the notion of such a project after 
that, but from the start, this may be another reason to avoid the term 
"open source" and to stick with "Free Software" when talking to people 
who aren't familiar with either about electronic voting.

2c spent.


[1] In the same paragraph they assert that they could implement the 
whole of the counting process in MS Excel. Sheeesh!

Éibhear Ó hAnluain
GPG Fingerprint: E63B 461C D0B1 0F11 B08E  076F 4958 E0BA FD41 7C83
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