Paul Melia: We're back to those 'stupid aul' pencils' as saga ends
THEY were supposed to be the future, allowing the results of local, general and European elections to be known within minutes of the polls closing.
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was such a fan of electronic voting he told the Dail in 2007 that by not adopting the new technology "this country will move into the 21st Century being a laughing stock with our stupid aul' pencils".
But who's laughing now? Thirteen years later, at a cost to the taxpayer of €54m, the e-voting experiment finally ended yesterday with all of the 7,500 machines being sold for scrap.