April 7, 2014

Dutch parliament to bin secure voting in favour of electronic voting

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 10:42 am

vote-counting-rnwThree weeks ago there were municipal elections and according to AD on 27 March there is a big discrepancy between the number of voters that showed up and the number of votes counted.

In 235 of the 380 municipalities that participated, the numbers didn’t add up. AD claims that at least 7,387 errors were made. Some of the municipalities decided to have a recount, NRC reported the same day, Wassenaar and Heerlen among them.

Counting both voters and votes makes it harder to commit fraud. The ‘ghost votes’ (spookstemmen) as AD termed the discrepancies led to commotion in parliament. Members for PvdA, D66, GroenLinks and VVD declared themselves to be in favour of the reintroduction of electronic voting which works much less transparent and is therefore much harder to check for fraud.

The fact that a discrepancy between votes and voters was discovered means that manual counting works. The political parties mentioned above said they only wanted to reintroduce electronic counting if it is completely secure. Considering that the job to build these computers must be given to the cheapest supplier according to European laws will pretty much ensure that security will end up at the bottom of the list of requirements though.

(Photo by Photo RNW.org, some rights reserved)

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October 1, 2007

Government axes electronic voting

Filed under: IT by Branko Collin @ 9:48 am

Last week Minister of the Interior, Bijleveld announced (Dutch) that for now the Netherlands will return to paper voting. A committee headed by former minister Korthals-Altes had concluded that currently electronic voting systems are unsafe. Earlier, the Wij Vertrouwen Stemcomputers Niet group (We do not trust voting kiosks), headed by well-known hacker Rop Gongrijp, had demonstrated how easy it is to hack a voting kiosk without leaving a trace.

The Korthals-Altes committee concluded that electronic voting should leave a paper trail, so that votes can be re-counted if necessary, and that it should be transparent. The soonest moment at which electronic voting can be re-introduced would be after the 2009 elections for the European parliament.

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