- Estonia plans m-voting
- French Senate decides to continue with e-voting
- Netherlands withdraws electronic voting machines
- Finally the e-voting database is ready: DB.E-Voting.CC
It is quite some time again since we last published our newsletter. This time we have one big project to announce - the e-voting database is ready. We first started to work on the database at last year's Bregenz
conference and intensified collecting data when the Council of Europe e-Voting review meeting in November 2006 stated that there is a need for a structured collection of data on e-voting uses.
So finally with the help of Stefan Triessnig and Daniel Botz we managed to put our collection online and also published an article at the VOTE-ID 2007 conference in Bochum this October.
Then it's turbulent times for electronic voting - we have reports of Estonia thinking about m-voting (voting by cell phone), France sticking with both e-voting machines and internet voting, and finally the biggest news with the Netherlands to decertify their second electronic voting machine built by Nedap.
Finally I would like to point you to the call for papers for the 2008 Bregenz conference at www.e-voting.cc/2008. As early as never before have we received first paper submissions! So please start, or continue to work on your papers so we will have a very interesting discussion next year!
This is it for now, let's all continue to work on building the knowledge on the future of voting,
____ Estonia plans m-voting __________________________________________
Last year Estonia was the first country to elect its parliament via internet. In this election more than 3,5 % of all voters expressed their will online. Now Estonia is preparing an amendment to allow voting by mobile phone. The idea behind this project is simply: A mobile phone ID application would enable voters to identify themselves and give a digital signature. This is a big advantage because a cell phone performs the functions of an ID card and card reader at one and the same time.
More information: http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/18925/
Despite the heavy discussions during the French Presidential Election, the French Senate has ruled in favor of electronic voting in polling places for districts with more than 3,500 voters and to continue with remote Internet voting for voters abroad in parliamentary elections. In article 72 from February 2005, France highlights the advantages of e-voting. One big advantage is that elections machines make voting for disabled persons easier. In respect to the fact that every person should have the same rights and chances to vote, this is probably the most important advantage. Still, there are many doubts concerning the reliability of electronic voting ? especially for distance voting supported by electronic tools.
____ Netherlands withdraws electronic voting machines __________________
Find enclosed a report from one of our readers from what happenend in the Netherlands ? if you have similar reports you want to share, please do so!
An independent committee, who was installed as a reaction to the Nedap-Hack in October 2006, announced their findings: They argued that the current election machines do not offer the standards which would be necessary to guarantee the principles of democratic elections. Instead, plans are to have computers assist in casting the ballot and to print them. Later, these paper ballots shall be scanned and computer counted.
In the Netherlands the municipalities decide how to vote, electronically or by pencil and paper. 95% of the voters vote electronically. Only a few municipalities use pencil and paper.
There are two ways of voting electronically:
1. Voting machines- Nedap machines
2. Voting computers- SDU New Vote
The ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is responsible for the certification of the voting machines and computers.
In 2006 the city of Amsterdam, one of the few remaining cities still voting by pencil and paper, decided to use the SDU voting computers.
20 November 2006 there were national elections in the Netherlands. The SDU voting machines were not allowed to be used, their certificate had been revoked. Therefore, 425 municipalities used the Nedap voting
machines, 10 municipalities used replacing Nedap machines (who used to use the SDU machines) and 23 municipalities used pencil and paper. On 7 March 2007 the Dutch voters could vote for the provincial elections and this time also the SDU machines were not allowed to be used.
In 2007 the Dutch State Secretary had installed a commission which had the task to look at the whole voting process, also taking into account the findings of the OESO report of our elections in November and the recommendation on e-voting of the Council of Europe. The Commission published their report on 27 September 2007. In short their conclusions are:
1. Votes should be cast in a polling station.
2. Do not use the current voting machines anymore because they are a black box.
3. Voting by pencil and paper is preferred.
4. Although voting by pencil and paper is preferred, the counting takes long and is not always accurate.
5. Therefore the commission advises the following way of voting: The voter goes to the polling station, the voter selects its candidate on a voting printer (so on a machine), and the machine then prints the vote (the machine itself does not count the votes). The voter then checks if the vote is correct . The voter then puts the printed ballot paper in a ballot box. When the polls close, the ballot papers are counted by a machine.
6. They favor this option because it is transparent and you can control every step of the process.
7. There are two exceptions for voting in a polling station, one being the voters with physical limitations, the second one being voters living abroad. The voters with physical limitations should have the opportunity to vote by telephone and the voters abroad should have the option to vote over the internet.
8. Voting at a random polling station within your own municipality should be implemented.
This is the advice of the commission. Right now the State Secretary is considering her response to the recommendations by the Commission.
This cabinet response is expected by the end of November 2007.
____ The E-Voting Database is Ready: DB.E-Voting.CC ___________________
Did you ever ask yourself how many voters participated in the 2000 ICANN at large election? Finally, our database on these E-Voting uses is publicly accessible at http://DB.E-Voting.CC. We developed a wiki-style website where you can access, edit or enhance data on your own or any other e-voting use where you have data available.
Thanks to your help so far we could come with more than 228 E-Voting uses in our database. Please continue to support our database. How can you use the database? Access the information on your country? experiences by adding the top level domain to the URL, i.e. db.e-voting.cc/DE for Germany?s e-voting experiences. Editing is easy, as it is wiki style, no account necessary! If you want to stay up to date with all the changes in the database, please use a RSS-Feed Reader to subscribe to xxxx where you are constantly updated on any changes in the database.
We welcome your support to further grow the data. Thanks again! If you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org