Dutch government bans electronic voting

The Dutch government has banned electronic voting machines from future elections because of a risk of eavesdropping. The nation will return to paper voting.

The government of the Netherlands has banned electronic voting machines from future elections because of a risk of eavesdropping. The nation will return to paper voting.

"Research indicates that a secure voting machine that is immune to the risks of eavesdropping can't be guaranteed. Developing new equipment furthermore requires a large investment, both financially and in terms of organization. The administration judges that this offers insufficient added value over voting by paper and pencil," the Ministry of Internal Affairs said Friday evening.

In its decision, the government also banned so-called voting printers. Because they leave a paper trail, the printers had been suggested as a potential alternative to traditional voting computers that store the vote counts in their memory.

A group of experts headed by Bart Jacobs, a professor at Radboud University in Nijmegen, dismissed the printer option. The group concluded that "even with regular testing of each printer, it can't be guaranteed that all devices stay within the required emission limits" that safeguard against eavesdropping.

Instead of electronic voting machines, the nation will now shift focus to electronic vote counting. Election officials will initiate tests where a person will read out the elected name on the voting form. In one test, a second person will count the vote by scanning a barcode. A second test will use a special counting-device.

The reliability of voting machines marks a victory for a local activist group called "Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet" ("We don't trust voting computers") that is headed up by noted Dutch computer hacker Rop Gonggrijp.

The group published a note on its website on Friday declaring victory: "We, the proponents of election results that can be verified, are winning all over the world!"

The group cited earlier rulings against voting machines in other regions including California, Germany, the U.K., Ireland and Italy. "Protests are being held all over the world. Voting without a paper trail is on its way out," the group cheered.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Andreas Udo de Haes

WebWereld Netherlands
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?