Polling computers ruled inadequate for elections

30th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

30 October 2006, AMSTERDAM — The use of polling computers in 35 municipalities has been rejected due to concerns over the ease with which a voter's choice can be discovered.

30 October 2006

AMSTERDAM — The use of polling computers in 35 municipalities has been rejected due to concerns over the ease with which a voter's choice can be discovered.

It means Amsterdam voters will have to cast their ballot again with pencil and paper, while other municipalities can still choose to use different polling computers.

Minister for Administrative Reform Atzo Nicolai said on Monday that almost 1,200 polling computers from manufacturer Sdu have been rejected.

It represents 10 percent of the total number of polling computers in the Netherlands.

After Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Tilburg are the largest cities forced to find alternative voting possibilities.

An investigation by the intelligence service AIVD has revealed that the radio signals used by the Sdu computers to record votes can be intercepted 20 to 30m away.

It means someone could determine what party another person voted for, violating the principle of private ballots.

Nicolai said he withdrew the permit for the use of the computers.

The remaining 90 percent of the nation's polling computers (totalling 8,000 units) are made by Nedap.

The AIVD tested three of the four Nedap variants and determined that there is no danger of 'bugging'. Results of the tests on the fourth variant are expected soon.

Nicolai instructed the AIVD to conduct the tests after the protest group 'We don't trust polling computers' recently raised concerns about the reliability of the machines.

Nedap is currently busy installing new microchips and software to prevent hackers distorting the votes counted by its computers. A new unique seal will used.

Research institute TNO will act as an independent, third check of the system to ensure the computers are fraud-proof for the 22 November national elections.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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