Ireland's 'e-voting' plan causing short-circuits among opponents

At the next European Parliament elections in June, Ireland’s voters might find themselves registering their choice with the push of a button rather than a stroke of a pen — a change which has traditionalists fuming.

Minister for the Environment Martin Cullen, whose remit also takes in elections, has insisted that the so-called “e-voting system”, being introduced at a cost of around 35 million euros (45 million dollars), will improve democracy.

By using a special voting machine rather than the usual method of — sometimes imprecisely — placing crosses next to candidates’ names, errors could be eliminated, Cullen told the Dail, Ireland’s parliament.

“For reasons such as confusing handwriting, a mistake in numbering, or the failure to make sure the ballot paper was properly stamped, thousands of people who made the time to participate in an election (have) had their votes cast aside,” he said.