Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Dutch Minister bans some evoting machines
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands Voters in Amsterdam and 34 other Dutch cities may be using paper and pencil instead of computerized voting machines in national elections next month.
The government on Monday banned the use of one common type of computer voting machine, fearing that secret ballots may not be kept secret. It ordered a review of all electronic machines after the Nov. 22 election.
Government Renewal Minister Atzo Nicolai said the move was necessary after an investigation found the machines made by Sdu NV emitted radio signals that a technology-savvy spy could use to peek at a voters' choices from a distance of up to several dozen meters (yards).
"What can be detected is the image on the screen that's visible to the voter, by which his voting could be monitored," Nicolai said in a letter to parliament.
"In short, the machines made by the company Sdu can now be tapped, and there are no technical measures that can be taken before the upcoming elections that would prevent this tapping and guarantee the secrecy of the ballot."
He said he had revoked the permits for all the machines, about 10 percent of all voting machines used in the country.
A sample of the other machines used in next month's vote will be tested before the results are certified to ensure against fraud, Nicolai said.
The turnabout came after a group called "We Don't Trust Voting Computers" protested the vulnerability of electronic voting to fraud or manipulation.
Dutch government scraps plans to use voting computers in 35 cities including Amsterdam - IHT - AP - October 30, 2006
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