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Newsletter 5 - 29 September 2006

From Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet

Ministry takes measures, says Sdu Newvote is unsafe

The Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) announces several measures to enhance the protection of voting computers. These measures will be implemented before the next election of Members of the Lower House (Tweede Kamer) on November 22, 2006.

According to a written explanation sent by the Ministry to the television programme ‘TROS Radar’, all voting computers in the Netherlands will be sealed, and extra security measures concerning the software will be taken. The reason why these new measures are being taken is possibly the report of the Princeton University about vulnerabilities in American e-voting machines. Strikingly, the Dutch Ministry points out that voting computers which are connected to a network are by definition unsafe. Therefore, the use of the Sdu Newvote computers would become impossible, since these voting computers (employed in Amsterdam and other cities) use a wireless network connection.

Member of Parliament Irrgang (Socialist Party) has posed questions. The Socialist Party demands better control of voting computers. More guarantees are required to make electronic voting with a voting computer safer. Irrgang has asked Minister Remkes (Interior and Kingdom Relations) for a reaction on the Princeton report.

Reaction Ministry of Interior Affairs to TROS Radar (25 September 2006):

"The Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations is aware of the action
group 'We don’t trust voting computers'.  There is no reason to doubt
the reliability of voting machines.  The use of these machines is
embedded in a meticulous described process with many safety guarantees. 
The regulation ‘Conditions and Approval of Voting Machines’ demands that
the voting computers which are used in elections shall make a correct
record of the ballots which are cast and confirmed by the voters. Test
institute TNO will see to this*.

The voting machines used in the Netherlands are not connected with each
other through a network.  This is for good reason. It means that those
who want to influence the elections in a  fraudulent matter, will have
to open a large number of voting computers. They will have to manipulate
or replace the software on every single device. This is not a simple
task and demands specialized knowledge. Moreover, the voting machines
are stored in protected locations. Apart from that, election fraud is a
punishable fact with high punishments and an active persecution.

To make the very small possibility of fraud even smaller, the ministry
will - in cooperation with the manufacturers - take measures that will
be implemented before for the next general election. All voting
computers will be sealed, there will be extra protection of the software
and extra control of the software by TNO."

Written explanation of the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations at TROS Radar (25 September 2006):

  • The new name for TNO-ITSEF BV is Brightsight. Brightsight is an independent trust organization in the Netherlands

that performs security evaluations since three decades.


"We don't trust voting computers" is a non-profit, non-partisan foundation seated in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The foundation aims to advance, defend, and research verifiable and transparent elections, with specific focus to the obstacles imposed by electronic voting.

"We don't trust voting computers"
Linnaeusparkweg 98
1098 EJ Amsterdam
The Netherlands

The foundation can be best reached by e-mail:

phone +31 20 4636394