Dutch cities want return to voting machines in next election

Ballot box in Netherlands for 2017 parliamentary election
Ballot box at an Amsterdam polling place for the 2017 Netherlands parliamentary electionNL Times

The vast majority of Dutch municipalities want to go back to using voting machines in the next election, according to a survey by NOS among 235 municipalities. A massive 90 percent of them want the use of voting machines to be reintroduced as soon as possible, if that can be done safely.

In the parliamentary election earlier this month, paper ballots were used that were counted by hand, due to worries that the election results may be targeted by hackers. This slowed down the counting process significantly.

The decision to count the ballots by hand followed warnings from American experts that Russian hackers may target the Dutch elections and research by Dutch cyber security expert Sijmen Ruwhof that concluded that "the average iPad is better secured than the Dutch election system."

According to Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs, electronic voting is too expensive and the risk of hacking is too high. Last year the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, voted against the reintroduction of voting machines.



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