Dutch e-voting software goes open source

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Wed Jun 30 2004 - 15:02:25 CDT

I wonder if there is stuff here we can use....


Dutch e-voting software goes open source

By Jan Libbenga

Published Wednesday 23rd June 2004 14:44 GMT
The source code of the software that is used for online e-voting in the
Netherlands has been made public by OSOSS, a Dutch association that promotes
the use of open source software in government.

Electronic voting in the Netherlands was made permissible by an amendment to
the Elections Act back in 1965. Mechanical voting machines were used until
1974, and then gradually electronic versions began to replace them.

In most voting Dutch stations these days an electronic machine by Dutch
company Nedap is used instead of paper ballots. Proper verification of the
votes - as opposed to a simple comparison of "votes per candidate to the
votes per party, and to the total number of votes cast" remains, however,
largely unresolved. This has considerably frustrated academics, who so far
have failed to retrieve the source code of the Nedap machines via the Dutch
"public government" law.

Because of the controversy, online e-voting in the Netherlands at present is
still restricted to the 16,000 or so Dutch expats, of which 5,000 used the
system during the European parliamentary elections earlier this month.

The system is part of the distance-voting project (KOA), which also allows
voting through a phone-based voice-response system. The project, launched in
1999, was outsourced to to tender winners LogicaCMG.

A report by the Dutch ministry of internal affairs earlier this year
expressed concerns over security and privacy issues. Electronic voting and
Internet voting in particular is seen by many as risky. When the Irish
government proposed a Nedap/Powervote system to be used in locally held
elections for the European Parliament, it met with fierce resistance from
critics because it came without an audit trail.

Releasing the source code of the Dutch e-voting system software will enable
voters to verify that the system does what it is supposed to, proponents
say. In Australia the software for parliamentary elections is already open
to public scrutiny.

= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
Received on Wed Jun 30 23:17:28 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Jun 30 2004 - 23:17:30 CDT