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Voting machines unconstitutional in Germany

 
 
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 03:28 am
A father and son wanted Germany to stop using electronic voting machines because they believe them to be vulnerable to manipulation. They have brought their case before Germany's highest court, the Federal Constitutional Court.

In the 2005 German general election, almost two million people voted using electronic voting machines.

http://i40.tinypic.com/209pm9x.jpg

The voting machines in question are manufactured by the Dutch firm Nedap and do not print out receipts. Constanze Kurz, a spokesman for the Berlin-based hacker group Chaos Computer Club, calls the machine a "black box," and likens their use to relying on an oracle to decide elections. "You never know what's going to come out," she told Agence-France Presse on Saturday. Both the machine's software as well as its hardware are vulnerable, said Kurz. In addition to hackers accessing the voting system, the biggest concern is that a machine's memory card, which stores voting data, could be adulterated or simply replaced on its way to the vote tabulation center.

A group of hackers successfully tampered with similar machines in the Netherlands in 2006 and then went public with their doctored results, inspiring the Dutch government to impose a moratorium on the use of electronic voting machines. Ireland also has bans electronic voting.

German election law, however, permits their use, and the German parliament already rejected a petition signed by over 45,000 people to try to ban electronic voting back in 2005. That's why the Wiesners, who were also behind the petition drive, have decided to try their luck with the Constitutional Court.

A coupled of minutes ago, the court's decission was published that the use of those machines isn't according to our constitution. (However, the general election hasn't to be done again, the court ruled.)

More later (other material used above from on older article at Spiegel-online).
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 6,916 • Replies: 11
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 03:48 am
@Walter Hinteler,
The Vice-President of the Federal Constituional Court, Andreas Vo├čkuhle, noted that election computers weren't totally banned with this ruling. The existing machines just weren't working properly.
Their might be voting machines in the future which the court wouldn't reject at all, he said. And even internet might be possible ...
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 06:47 am
Quote:
Germany's next national parliamentary election will be held on Sept. 27 this year, when conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel will seek a second term.

Interior Ministry official Hans-Heinrich von Knobloch said that officials would work to satisfy the court's requirements, but he did not expect it would be possible to use machines in this year's election.
Source: IHT

Quote:
Germany first introduced electronic voting in European elections in 1999 and first used it in parliamentary ballots in 2002, but 2005 saw the first large-scale deployment of the technology.

German hacker-cum-data-protection group Chaos Computer Club has been spearheading a campaign with the Dutch foundation Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet (We don't trust voting computers) to stop the further spread of electronic voting because of fears about the risk of electronic errors and the potential for abuse.

In 2008, the Dutch government decertified the use of existing paperless systems and rejected a proposal to develop a new generation of voting computers.
Source:
DW-World


0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 07:12 am
Oh man, all those darned ol' Dutchmen there in Dutchland . . . always gettin 'riled up over somethin' . . .

What ? ! ? ! ? You intend to have literate voters who can take a pencil and fill in a ballot, without mechanical aid?


Commies . . .
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 07:13 am
By the by, if i'm up early enough in the morning, i sometimes hear Deutsche Welle's DW World English service, and have always enjoyed--even if i didn't spell everything correctly.
0 Replies
 
apjagga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 05:33 am
@Walter Hinteler,
'EVMs illegally being used for a decade' "Legal Research Paper
Author:: Ajay Jagga, Advocate High Court (India)

CHANDIGARH: The electronic voting machines (EVMs) are being used in violation of the Information Technology Act 2000, a research paper has revealed.

Author of the research paper, advocate Ajay Jagga, said that as per IT Act, 2000, a verifiable audit trail has to be provided in case of any electronic record, which is now admissible as evidence as per Evidence Act but in case of electronic voting, the voter does not get any receipt with regard to his voting.

The research paper recently attracted the attention of experts when a conference on "EVMs: How trustworthy?" in Chennai passed a unanimous resolution on February 13, to approach the Election Commission of India (ECI) for bringing the electronic voting procedure in tune with IT Act, 2000.

Jagga said he would soon approach ECI seeking formation of legal committee to remove the illegality or will knock the doors of court.

The lawyer said, "Unless the voter gets a receipt like the one we get in ATM or after the use of debit or credit cards, all electronic transactions including a vote, are illegal." What is the evidence that the vote cast has really been recorded and that it has been recorded in the manner the voter intended, he asked.

For the purpose and to protect the secrecy of ballot, all such receipts, after the voter has checked his transaction, should be put in a box which should remain with ECI to be produced as evidence in case of a dispute, he said. The government amended the relevant laws in 1989 to equate EVM with ballot and ballot box to facilitate transition from ballot paper to EVM but the IT Act 2000 created a new complication that has to be immediately resolved in the interest of fairness of things, Jagga pointed out.

The voter comes across only things, after pressing the button of EVM or voting ie a beep and a flash but what has happened inside the machine or what has happened to the data is not known to the voter. This is the issues which violates the I T Act 2000 and Indian Evidence Act 1872 and thats why the receipt is mandatory so that the voter can verify that the data has been sent and received in the same format or according to his or her own wish.

The lawyer also proved that the machine can be tampered with which has been accepted by the government itself in its letter to withdraw patent applications filed by Electronics Corporation of India and Bharat Electronics Ltd, makers of the machine. The PSUs withdrew their patent applications on the ground that the machine may not be tamper-proof, he said adding that Germany had to return to ballot paper after their machines were found wanting.

JanisL
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 11:06 am
@apjagga,
I believe that Anonymous has proven once and for all how vulnerable all online or computer-based functions are to manipulation/fraud and hacking. Computers should never be used for what is supposed to be honest and open, secure and confidential voting!! The security of our voting system against those who would throw elections is the cornerstone of our democratic form of government. They must be removed from the system and hand voting on paper ballots which are then hand-counted in public, totals not transmitted via computer, and the results then announced! The sinister addition of "black boxes" was the Republican Party's wet dream of how to win elections--they know they cannot win legitimately and, thus, they came up with this ingenious way to steal elections! If Canada can do it, the U. S. can as well. Voters, stand up for the integrity of your votes!
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 11:10 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Excellent news Walter. I hope ... wish they can have the same ruling here in the US. Diebold clearly can't be trusted with their electronic voting machines.
Diego Garcia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 11:19 am
@tsarstepan,
I didn't think we let machines vote, already.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 12:38 pm
I hope the machines in American can be outlawed.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 01:05 pm
@tsarstepan,
Well, this news is more than two years old.

The Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the use of voting computers
in 2005 Bundestag election was unconstitutional. (See: Judgment of 3 March 2009)

But until now, there's no computer which works according to that ruling ...
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 01:20 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I was suckered into the discussion as I didn't realize it was an old bumped and revived thread. Still an interesting read.
0 Replies
 
 

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