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Evote or Efraud? A contribution to the discussion

E-vote or E-fraud? A contribution to the discussion

Concerns about E-voting system used for CLP Elections 2007, is still not addressed after 12 months !

On Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 4:44pm, a notice was sent out to staff in Luxembourg announcing the results of the CLP elections.

This was the first time an E-voting system was used in Luxembourg, for these CLP elections.

The two biggest lists got practically the same percentage of votes. The difference, was +0.6% for List 3. This resulted in 50% more seats on the CLP for List 3 than List 2.
List 2 had 11 couples among the 20 pairs receiving the most votes. But got 8 seats.
List 3 had 9 couples in the top 20, but got 12 seats.

What has this got to do with the E-voting software used during the election?

It was clear that the difference between the absolute number of votes for List 3 and 2 were very close. Also, reports came in of some people not voting because they thought the system was not confidential etc. Others made a mistake while voting and saved their vote before they were finished. This was because the full list of candidates from all lists was not visible on the one screen ( unlike the traditional paper system ), and after voting for a few on one list they wanted to go up one level and select another list, but accidently saved their vote.

If only a small number of voters were affect this way then since the difference in the percentage of votes was so slim, then the outcome of the election was affected by the tool provided to voters.

In the following few weeks, several people wrote to the Commission en Direct asking Admin some very appropriate questions.

Here is a summary of the points made:

- If there are indications that THE E-VOTING APPLICATION AFFECTED THE OUTCOME OF THE ELECTION. Then the Commission, needs to investigate this issue carefully so as to avoid this problem in the future.

  • What sort of trace of each vote was kept to enable a re-count in the event of a very closely contested result?

  • What steps were taken to ensure that there was no hidden programming code in the application, which was beneficial to one particular list or detrimental to another?

  • What steps were taken to ensure that the version of the application actually used 'live', was the one tested by the Scrutineers?

  • How was it possible to transmit blank ballot papers, and to 'void' certain ballot papers - and did this disenfranchise the voters concerned?

  • What steps are foreseen to identify and interview non-voters to establish reasons for non-participation and any related bias in the results?

  • Answers to all these questions would be valuable, to help allay fears amongst certain staff members. That could improve future participation, the representativity of outcomes and confidence in those outcomes. All of which are desirable.

- In a notice from DIGIT B1 shortly after the Election Results were made public, it stated that the "eVoting went smoothly and the Quorum was reached at noon on the last day of the voting period. Ballot counting on 20 November was fast and feedback from staff unions and other stakeholders concerning the whole procedure was positive.

While, from an administrative perspective, the eVoting may seem to have gone smoothly; that misses the point. The aim is to ensure a satisfactory outcome which is supported by the staff concerned. And that has clearly not happened as there are doubts expressed about possible disenfranchisement and other errors which may have affected outcome!

- Why did Mr Halskov, who demonstrated the e-Voting system to the Unions several weeks prior to the election, ask each Union to sign a declaration that they would not contest the result of the elections, purely on the basis of the fact that an E-voting system had been used? Did DIGIT/ADMIN not themselves trust that their system exactly replicated the olde paper system, or that it was secure?

- The Commission should set an example by organising a referendum introducing a clear and honest proportional representation system throughout its places of employment.

So far, there has been total silence from DIGIT or ADMIN about these concerns.

In Germany E-voting is being contested in the Constitutional Court at the present time. Other EU Member States have abandoned E-voting after using it for a while because of the above-mentioned issues.

In conclusion, the only answer to all these problems is voter-verified paper trails - paper records of every vote. After an election, the totals on the machines can be compared with the paper records. If there is a discrepancy, the paper records become the official results. Most states in the USA now have laws requiring voter-verified paper trails.

Until these issues are addressed and / or a voter-verified paper trails are introduced, then this e-voting must be abandoned for the moment and the next CLP elections should resort to using the traditional paper-based voting system.

S olidarity with those who work for their money
I ndependence from those who don't
D emocracy in all decisions taken by groups of sane, adult humans

SID - Solidarity, Independence, Democracy is an independent Trade Union of all EU Institutions employees (Je souhaite adhérer au SID…)

Created by: admin last modification: Tuesday 03 of February, 2009 [18:41:20 UTC] by admin

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