Dutch Gov't Pulls The Plug On E-Voting (For Now)

from the did-they-vote-on-that? dept

While the US is still trying to figure out what to do about problematic e-voting machines, over in the Netherlands, they’ve apparently decided to ditch the machines (or, at least, ditching the regulation approving the machines), at least until they’ve figured out a way to make them more reliable, secure and trustworthy. Sounds like a reasonable plan, though it sounds like they may be looking to bring the machines back rather quickly, with just a paper trail — which may not be enough. At some point people need to realize that many of these machines can’t be retrofitted to fix things, but need to be rethought from the ground up.

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Comments on “Dutch Gov't Pulls The Plug On E-Voting (For Now)”

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slimcat (profile) says:

Open Source would be a good start.

I believe an open source operating system with SELinux (Debian would be a good fit) and having a paper trail would be a nice start. However, even this would probably not be immune to the determined cracker. An open source OS has been used on voting machines in Australia but I don’t know to what extent or with what success.

I still don’t see anything wrong with an optically scanned, hand marked ballot. Cost effective, computerized count and a paper trail, but, needs to be made more secure.

No matter what is done, elections will always be open to fraud/abuse of one kind or another.

sacamano says:

They are not aiming to bring the old machines back

The committe actually recommends a paper ballot, generated by a computer so that it can be digitally scanned. The voter then publicly deposits this in a ballot box. After the elections close, the ballots are then electronically counted, and remain available for a manual recount. See here: http://www.minbzk.nl/actueel?ActItmIdt=108587

The committee chair also has advised strongly against using the current computers, going as far as “hoping that the present executive branch will remain in power for a while” (Executive brnch in the Netherlands cannot stay in power without a majority in Parliament) and recommending that “the merging of municipalities should not be undertaken too enthusiastically” until the problem is solved”. This last bit of info is from a press conference by the committee chair.

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