Dutch reject flawed electronic voting systems

From: Edward Cherlin <echerlin_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Sep 28 2007 - 21:40:21 CDT

http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/28/1216207

"The Dutch commission that has been investigating the electoral
process presented its final report yesterday.
http://www.minbzk.nl/aspx/get.aspx?xdl=/views/corporate/xdl/page&VarIdt=109&ItmIdt=108600&ActItmIdt=108589
(Dutch)
The conclusions and recommendations are devastating to the current
Dutch practice of voting electronically, and to plans for voting via
the internet. Paraphrasing from the report: The deputy minister for
the interior Bijleveld said in an initial response
http://www.minbzk.nl/actueel?ActItmIdt=108604
(Dutch only)
that she would revoke the certification of the current generation of
electronic voting machines. The minister plans to present an official
Cabinet position on the electoral process in two months. The next
elections (for the European Parliament, 2009) may see a return to
paper ballots."

Paraphrasing from the report:

    * The current electronic voting machines do not comply with the
basic requirements of an election (e.g. transparency, controllability,
integrity).
    * The paper ballot still offers the best way to comply with these
basic requirements.
    * The commission recommends using an electronic system to generate
the paper ballot. The voter must be allowed to check the ballot before
it is deposited in a locked box.
    * Votes can be counted electronically (by scanning the paper
ballots), with the option of a manual recount.

"Dat betekent concreet dat bij verkiezingen op korte termijn niet met
de huidige stemmachines kan worden gestemd." - staatssecretaris
Bijleveld

Concretely, this means that in the short term elections cannot be
conducted with current voting machines. (Translation a combined effort
from Babelfish plus my knowledge of German and a tiny amount of actual
Dutch.)

The Dutch pretty much invented Free Speech and Freedom of Religion
during the Eighty Years War with Spain, so you can tell they meant it.
It doesn't surprise me that they have the first government to get a
lot of this right, too.

Now we need to talk to them about using two data paths, paper and
electronic, with cross-checks so you have real auditability.

-- 
Edward Cherlin
Earth Treasury: End Poverty at a Profit
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Earth_Treasury
WIRE AFRICA  http//www.wireafrica.org/
http://www.linkedin.com/in/cherlin
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Received on Sun Sep 30 23:17:18 2007

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