The Government has sold the infamous €54m e-voting machines for scrap — for €9.30 each. A huge fleet of trucks will begin removing the 7,500 machines from 14 locations on Monday. They will be taken to a Co Offaly recycling company, KMK Metals Recycling Ltd in Tullamore, where they will be stripped down and shredded. Ironically, the owner of the firm, Kurt Kyck, cast his vote on one of the machines in the 2002 elections. He has now paid €70,000 for the lot. Scrapping the machines brings to an end the embarrassing e-voting debacle which has cost the taxpayer more than €54m since it emerged the expensive equipment was faulty. They could not be guaranteed to be safe from tampering. And they could not produce a printout so that votes/results could be double-checked. But last night the man who first proposed using them washed his hands of the affair.
Former Fianna Fail minister Noel Dempsey suggested e-voting in 1999 but the machines were purchased by Martin Cullen three years later. Mr Dempsey refused to comment, directing questions to his successor in the Department of the Environment. “I’m a private citizen,” he told the Irish Independent at his home in Trim, Co Meath. “Ask Martin Cullen, he bought them,” he added. And then he walked into his house. Mr Cullen could not be reached for comment.