Dutch general election vote to be hand counted out of hacking fears


Due to a fear of hackers, the results of the forthcoming Dutch general elections will be fully calculated by hand instead of partly by the software used for election results in the past eight years, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations announced on Wednesday.

The Dutch government took measures after Dutch news show RTL Nieuws had reported this week that the system by which the votes are counted in the Netherlands is not secure. Hackers could take over and give the parties more or less seats.

“The reports in recent days about the vulnerabilities of using software from the Electoral Council also mean that there are doubts about whether it can be manipulated in the upcoming election calculation of the results,” the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations stated.

“The government has already stated that third parties could benefit from influencing political decisions and the public opinion in the Netherlands,” the statement continued, “They also have the means to try to achieve influence.”

Dutch voters will fill in the ballots with pencil on paper and these votes are counted by hand, as in previous years. But the software program that calculates the totals of the submitted results from individual polling stations is vulnerable and that count will be done manually now as well.

According to Minister Ronald Plasterk of Interior and Kingdom Relations, there “should be no shadow of doubt hanging over the outcome of the elections” and he wants to avoid speculation about the reliability of the software and the result.

The total hand count could mean a delay of the final result, which should be ready on March 20, five days after the elections.

Plasterk said that a longer wait is out of the question, but a spokesperson of the Electoral Council, the central electoral committee which presents the results, told NOS that a result on March 20 is an “optimistic” thought. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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