Thursday, March 01, 2007

Open letter to Dutch Minister on evoting

In the light of the revlations thrown up by their successful freedom of information requests, "We do not trust voting computers" has written an open letter to the new Dutch minister responsible for evoting. An English translation of the text of the letter follows:

"As you probably know our foundation is worried about the state of the electoral process. At thismoment we would like draw your attention to a matter which underlines the seriousness of the matter at hand and which we feel demands immediate action on your part. We recently received some unnerving documents from the Electoral Council as a result of a Freedom of Information request we filed there. From these documents it becomes clear that your predecessor Mr. Nicolaï at the time of the last elections was being extorted by the largest seller of voting computers and election software. Attached you will find a copy of the press release as it can be found on thewebsite of our foundation. This website also has copies of all supporting documents mentioned in the press release.

Unfortunately we are faced with a situation in which independent verification with regard to voting computers is often interpreted to mean that the manufacturers inspect themselves. In this light we wonder how to explain to the Dutch voters that before the last elections the minister issued a press release stating “no doubts over trustworthiness of voting machine” while at the same time he was being extorted by the company selling the software without which elections cannot be held. (Among other things the owner of the company wanted the government to buy his company in trade for his continued cooperation during the upcoming provincial elections)

Although the government has itself to blame for the vulnerable and dependent position in which it finds itself today, we feel this is not an excuse to let these threats pass by. For as far as you haven’t acted already, the “We do not trust voting computers” foundation calls upon you to take all legal and other measures needed to restore faith in the electoral process and to show that our
government cannot be extorted. "

This story has a long way to run in Holland but it really should be told everywhere that currently uses or is considering using evoting systems.

No comments: