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Germany: Voting computers ruled unconstitutional

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 5 years ago

Government 1

Micha Lenk writes "The German Federal Supreme Court has ruled that the use of electronic voting machines for the General Election (Bundestagswahl) 2005 has been unconstitutional. The judges acknowledge the claim that that the voters were not able to supervise neither the cast votes nor the vote counting itself.

They also decided that the election remains valid because of the low share of electronically cast votes. Approximately two million out of 61.9 millionen voters had voted using electronic voting machines in the election almost four years ago."

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1 comment

Some more details than TFS (1)

ArieKremen (733795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27049929)

The court also said that since no errors have been reported from the 1,800 unit used in the elections, the outcome of the elections are still certified and valid. Two law suits were brought forward, claiming that the secrecy of the vote and democratic controls were violated by use of the computers. Vote by computers has not been generally outlawed, however the present decision is based on problems associated with those specific machines. The court rejects the notion that it acted out of 'technophobia' and even left the door open for internet-based voting.
Computers were used in 39 out of 399 precincts. The machines in question were manufactured by the Dutch company Nedap, which were first used in the 1999 pan-European elections. The court's decision is with regard to the models ESD1 and ESD2.
The plaintiffs argued that voters were required to completely trust the computers, thus creating a trust vacuum which contradicts the openess requirement of the counting process. Experts said that irregularities in the software could easily be detected, however hardware modifications are difficult to identify.
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