Breaking from today's Irish Times...
An Offaly-based firm, KMK Metals Recycling, was declared the Government’s preferred bidder out of seven tenders.
The company paid a mere €70,267 for the machines – a steal when one considers the €55 million they have cost the State to date. The price paid also works out at just half the annual €140,000 cost of storing them.
Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said he was “glad to bring this sorry episode to a conclusion on behalf of the taxpayer”.
“From the outset, this project was ill-conceived and poorly delivered by my political predecessors and as a result it has cost the taxpayer €55 million.
“While this is a scandalous waste of public money, I am happy to say that we will not incur any further costs in the disposal of the machines,” he said.
To help put those costs in perspective, 55 million Euro --- the cost of the systems to the state of Ireland to date --- is about $69.5 million.
In this country, the U.S. wasted almost $4 billion (with a "b"), via the Help American Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, on the very same type of worthless, unreliable, easily hacked machines that the Irish are smart enough to get rid of entirely...
Back to the story...
Plans to roll out the machines on a national basis in the 2004 local and European elections were abandoned by the then minister for the environment, Martin Cullen, after a report from an independent commission raised issues about their reliability.
Amidst mounting concerns over their reliability and storage costs (which, in the years 2004 to 2008 were €658,000, €696,000, €706,000, €489,000 and €204,000 respectively) the idea of e-voting was finally scrapped in 2009. The same fate now awaits the machines themselves.
In Ireland's case, after it was discovered almost immediately that these things were junk, not worthy of any public democracy, they shelved them and are now finally trashing them entirely. We have known them to be junk --- as revealed on these pages and in study after study across the nation --- for nearly a decade.
In our case, however --- in the "World's Greatest Democracy" (which we know we are, because we keep saying so all the time) we will still be using these same, oft-failed, easily-manipulated, secret vote counting pieces of crap across the entire nation, once again, to determine the results our 2012 Presidential election.
[Hat-tip Mark Karlin of BuzzFlash at Truthout]