Re: German Constitutional Court : No To Voting Machines

From: Matthew J. Harmon <matthew_dot_harmon_at_qed_dot_org>
Date: Wed Mar 04 2009 - 11:49:20 CST

Normally I would trim the recipients, however it appears all parties may
be interested in a translation.

A summary in English from DW:

03.03.2009

German Court Rules E-Voting Unconstitutional
Person pointing at an electronic voting machine
Germany's highest court has ruled that the use of electronic voting in
the last general election was unconstitutional. However, the Karlsruhe
judges said the 2005 vote was still valid as there was no evidence of
errors.

September's upcoming elections looks set to see a return to the more
traditional pencil and paper countrywide.

Constitutional judge Andreas Vosskuhle said that the judgment did not
rule out digital voting for once and for all, but added that the
equipment used four years ago did have shortcomings.

Nevertheless, Vosskuhle said there was no indication that there had been
any errors.

Some two million voters in five different German states submitted their
ballots electronically in 2005.

Father and son opposed the technology

woman's hand dropping ballot into ballot box. EU flag in
backgroundBildunterschrift: Gro▀ansicht des Bildes mit der
Bildunterschrift: Sometimes the old solutions are the best

The use of electronic voting was challenged by a father-and-son team.
Political scientist Joachim Wiesner and son, physicist Ulrich Wiesner
complained that push button voting was not transparent because the voter
could not see what actually happened to his vote inside the computer and
was required to place "blind faith" in the technology.

In addition, the two plaintiffs argued that the results were open to
manipulation.

Germany first introduced electronic voting in European elections in 1999
and first used it in parliamentary ballots in 2002, but 2005 saw the
first large-scale deployment of the technology.

German hacker-cum-data-protection group Chaos Computer Club has been
spearheading a campaign with the Dutch foundation Wij vertrouwen
stemcomputers niet (We don't trust voting computers) to stop the further
spread of electronic voting because of fears about the risk of
electronic errors and the potential for abuse.

In 2008, the Dutch government decertified the use of existing paperless
systems and rejected a proposal to develop a new generation of voting
computers.

jg/nda/dpa/ap/reuters
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4069101,00.html

Another write-up at OpEdNews.com
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Germany-bans-computerized-by-Paul-Lehto-090303-583.html

Matthew J. Harmon
Technical Advisor, Security and Standards
Q.E.D. Systems
+1 612/987.0115

SomeThoughts@aol.com wrote:
> *The German Constitutional Court has declared electronic
> voting machines too insecure for use in Germany. They
> are unconstitutional.
>
> Unfortunately these articles are in German, and
> I just don't have time this morning for reading and
> translating all the details, but one headline reads :
> "Comeback for Paper and Pencil"
>
> Here's a summary in German.
>
> "Der Einsatz von Abstimmcomputern bei der Bundestagswahl warlaut
> Verfassungsgericht grundgesetzwidrig - die bisherigen Maschinen sind
> einfach zu unsicher."
>
> http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/tech/0,1518,610960,00.html
> http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,611148,00.html
>
> Maybe someone will be able to Google up some articles in English.
>
> Jim Soper
>
> www.CountedAsCast.com *
>
>
> **************
> Need a job? Find employment help in your area.
> (http://yellowpages.aol.com/search?query=employment_agencies&ncid=emlcntusyelp00000005)
>
>
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Received on Tue Mar 31 23:17:03 2009

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