e-Voting Machines Will Be Scrapped, Cowen Confirms

If ever we needed a symbol for the ignorance, ineptitude, arrogance and incompetence of the Ahern years, we need look only to the failed e-voting scheme.

The government went out and bought 7,000 obsolete computers, dressed up to look like poker machines, for €50 million.  That’s over €7,000 each, which is a pretty damn good price for a computer so old you couldn’t play Duke Nukem on it.

On top of that, they agreed a deal with Nedap, the Dutch supplier of the slot-machines, that made it impossible for Irish experts to examine the source code of the software to make sure it was a correct representation of our PR voting system.  We had to take their word for it.

Nedap saw the idiots coming and handed them the 7,000 toy computers with a shrug and a sneer.  Stupid Paddies.

When Ahern and his goons got it home, they didn’t test the system.  Instead, they piloted it, which means they asked a few local librarians and town clerks if they thought it was any good.  And when these formidable intellects pronounced it good, it was duly installed.  In Ahern’s world, that amounted to a rigorous test.  The reality was that nobody knew if the software was doing what it was supposed to do.  There was no way of checking.  No paper trail.  No possibility of a re-count.

When IT experts, such as Joe McCarthy, raised well-founded concerns about the reliability of the machines, Bertie Ahern, Noel Dempsey and Martin Cullen sneered at them.  Ahern, in a characteristically ill-informed jibe, accused such people of being backward by sticking with the old pencil (or peann luaidhe as he put it).  As with all ignorant men, Ahern didn’t know enough to realise that he was out of his depth, and he continued to dismiss the IT professionals who were expressing concerns for the security of our democracy.

Remember, Ahern is a man who can’t scratch an X on a rock without sticking his tongue out, and yet he felt qualified to belittle the advice of people who had spent their entire professional lives learning about such matters.

It was an example of that unique mindset that comes from a combination of ignorance and arrogance, and it lay behind many of the stupid decisions that this government has made, culminating in their utterly ill-conceived decision to bail out the Russian mafia.

Biffo has now announced that the machines are to be scrapped.  Nobody wants them, which is hardly surprising since they’re older than a Bertie Ahern excuse, and now we’re stuck with the problem of what to do with them.  Not content with having stiffed the thick Paddies for €50 million by selling them 7,000 useless funfair machines, Nedap are now telling the government that they can’t sell them on because the software is licensed.  (The dodgy, unreliable, unworkable software, that is).

Here’s a suggestion.   Why don’t we donate them to North Korea for use in rigged elections?  I’m sure Nedap would have no problem making their software even more obscure and a little reprogramming would guarantee 120% of the electorate voting for the Great Leader.

Everyone’s a winner.


More about e-voting on Bock.

13 replies on “e-Voting Machines Will Be Scrapped, Cowen Confirms”

“Ahern is a man who cant scratch an X on a rock without sticking his tongue out”. Tom Sharpe or Flann O Brien wouldnt have put it better. Perfect description of the spineless one.

One government agency considered buying them and using them as a lobby machine containing basic on-line information about the building but then discovered that the machine’s chip (Intel circa 1980) wasn’t powerful enough to perform this basic task. I heard the eponymous Dick Roche on the radio this morning telling us that, in reality, no one was to blame for this fuck-up. I wonder if even one IT professional was involved in the decision to buy these machines?

But this gets better, according to the IT today. The storage of these machines uncovers more incompetence and nepotism. Some civil servant had to sign a lease on premises to store these and in two of four cases signed for leases between 20 and 25 years – WTF!!! In addition, the returning officer apparently contracted a nephew of hers who had a building for storing agricultural equipment so did not have planning for storing these machines. Why, in hindsight are these incompetent actions and patent waste of public money not being sanctioned by someone being fired. It is this level of uncaring mediocrity that has this country fucked – people should be jailed for wasting public money.

“Intel circa 1980”.. Jesus fucking Christ. This is incompetence of the highest order.
This is 50 fucking million of our money. If it was a private company these goons would be fired a long time ago.
Ahern is such is stuttering bafoon.. pe pe pe peann luaidhe my arse. Diversionary tactics as usual accusing people of “being backward by sticking with the old pencil”.
It’s not that people wanted to stick with the pe pe pe peann luaidhe Bertie, it’s that people didn’t want to throw away millions on machines that wouldn’t work.

I remember that he called the people opposing the use of these machines “luddites”. The luddites were a group of skilled workers who were opposed to machines being used that made their skills redundant. They were not against technology, just their skills being made redundant. Of course Ahern wouldn’t have know this, the idiot.

I agree that Ahern is a cretin, of the highest order, but having a speech impediment doesn’t mean a person is stupid, FME.

Scrap metal prices are at their highest ever,dont know what those things weigh but surely they will fetch a thousand euros or so.Not a good return on an investment of 50 million I know but then its about normal return for goverment investments here.Probably about the same ratio we will get from the investments in the banks and NAMA.


“I agree that Ahern is a cretin, of the highest order, but having a speech impediment doesn’t mean a person is stupid”

Ahern doesn’t have a speech impediment.

It’s part of the act.

A postscript to the e-voting fiasco, in anticipation of this technological wonder, and taking “Bertie the Bountiful’s” advice, we flogged off the ballot boxes, and…. guess what, when we discovered that these crocks of shit would not, and could not, be relied upon, despite the protestations of that gobshite Martin Cullen ( now safely retired with his Ministerial and T.D.’s pension), we had to go out and buy new ballot boxes.
You could not make this shit up.

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