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Signs of Life :: Germany Mandates Paper-Trail Voting

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Germany Mandates Paper-Trail Voting

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Dutch anti e-voting group, Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet, have acquired some Nedap voting machines and successfully hacked them.
Photo by Colm MacCárthaigh

Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court has ruled that the voting machines used in the country’s 2005 general election are unconstitutional. The 1,800 Dutch Nedap machines, on which about 2 million citizens cast their votes, are not in compliance with the right to public elections, the court says, because they do not leave a paper trail. By law, voters and election officials must be able to verify that ballots are recorded correctly.

In one German study, undergraduate computer science students were able to manipulate the machines within minutes. In the picture, a member of the Dutch anti e-voting group, Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet, opens a Nedap voting machine. The group acquired several Nedap machines in 2006 and then successfully hacked them.

—Lilja Otto is associate online editor at YES! Magazine.







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