Expert group: there is little support for introducing ballot printers

Apr

30

2016

The Expert Group “Electronic voting and counting at polling stations” carried out an investigation into the support for the introduction of a ballot printer and vote counter. Support for the printer appears limited by security experts and communities.

In the survey ask the surveyed security professionals include that they “have considerable reservations about the introduction of a ballot printer, because of the risk of breaking the secret ballot. When the vote count they see fewer problems, as long as it is regularly checked by sampling on the basis of strict rules. In addition, should not be based on confidence in the supplier of the devices. If the vendors have reason to perform manipulations they would do this according to experts, whether or not under pressure from other governments.

They argue that there is currently little by responsible authorities to manipulate’s election and that this is changing with the introduction of electronic devices. The advantages of electronic voting, including benefits for people with disabilities and are available sooner the results would not outweigh the risks it entails. The municipalities have other reasons to be skeptical about the ballot printer, as this unnecessarily complex and would represent a major burden to the polling stations. They also see something in the vote counter, if necessary in combination with a new type of ballot.

There are also positive signs on the ballot printer. For example, senior citizens, the Oogvereniging and Reading & Writing Foundation before the introduction, as this threshold to be removed for their interest. Based on the different views of the expert group has made an assessment and come to the conclusion that it is advisable to enter only the vote count at this time, along with a customized ballot. Choosing both the printer and the counter would the associated risks mean that it can take a long time before it is realized something.

The expert group also has a number of specifications drawn up , to be met by the two devices. On the basis thereof it can then be carried out again an interrogation from suppliers. From these specifications shows among other things that voters should be able to determine whether a ballot printer has printed the right choice. the ticket must also be provided with a security feature, for example, with hologram foil or a particular perforation.

In the development of the devices, moreover, should only open standards to be applied. So all the software used must be open source. It is not clear whether only standard components may be used, the document merely asserts that licensing of standard components should not curtail the use and deployment of the equipment. Additionally there is the requirement that comprehensive protection is provided against manipulation, including protection against “compromising radiation ‘, so some information can be read. This can , for example, by means of electromagnetic radiation or sound.

In 2006 showed that hitherto were open voting machines used in the Netherlands to such attacks, and the government has passed to the vote with a pen. In 2013 concluded a commission which should be re-introduced electronic voting. One in March filed target this type of vote private member of the VVD start using the end of 2017.

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