Friday 22 September 2017

Scandalous waste of taxpayers' cash

The revelation that the infamous e-voting machines, which cost the Irish taxpayer a total of almost €55m, have been sold as scrap for a mere €70,000 represents one of the most scandalous wastes of public money of the entire Celtic Tiger era.

From the start, the whole e-voting fiasco reeked of hubris. With the Irish economy booming as never before the then government decided in 2001 to introduce electronic voting. This was despite the fact that the electorate, and the vast majority of our elected representatives, were perfectly happy with the existing paper-based system, which had worked perfectly satisfactorily since independence.

However, ignoring the sensible advice of not fixing something that wasn't broken, the then Environment Minister Noel Dempsey and his Cabinet colleagues pressed on regardless. They were, it seems, motivated by a misplaced desire to appear "modern".

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