Friday, October 01, 2004

Dutch Internet elections - regional water board

The Netherlands is currently holding the election for the Regional Water Management Boards (my translation of "Waterschappen"). One can vote by mail or by Internet. The latter attracted my curiosity, and I poked around the 'net a bit to see what people thought about the idea.

It appears that a test election was held in order to test the procedure and get some feedback from test voters. An often quoted feedback was that "Only 26% of the test voters expressed concern about the possibility of fraud". ONLY 26%?? This response seems to be interpreted as a vote of confidence for the system.

Another nugget: "The secrecy of the vote is guaranteed. The relationship between the voter identity and his login code is removed from the file before the votes are counted".

The FAQ also has an interesting statement. An independent body (TNO) has investigated the security of the voting method. They concluded that "Voting by Internet is not less safe than voting by mail or phone". This formulation implies that the procedure is actually not very safe, and they know it.

from Risks Digest 23.55, 30 September 2004.
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