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National Issues

Dutch Government Bans Electronic Voting PDF  | Print |  Email
By Andreas Udo de Haes, IDG News Service   
May 19, 2008
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.

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