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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  • icon
    slimcat (profile), 28 Sep 2007 @ 10:04am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2007 @ 12:00pm

    There have been many good proposals by researchers in this area. There are dozens of better and even simpler systems that have already been proposed and tested.

    How about "just friggin' get one of the better systems someone's already designed."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    sacamano, 28 Sep 2007 @ 3:15pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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