[E-voting] Nedap machines now banned in Germany

Michael McMahon michael at hexmedia.com
Tue Mar 3 21:44:38 GMT 2009

Very interesting news !
> Today the court ruled that the German "Bundeswahlgeraeteverordnung",  
> the law that deals with voting machines, is unconstitutional and void.  
> Much more importantly, they gave German citizens the constitutional  
> right to see al phases of the voting process (in its entirety) happen  
> before their very eyes. *They strongly rejected the notion that  
> 'delegated trust' can ever be a replacement for trust that comes from  
> (the possibility of) direct observation* 
But delegated trust is exactly what happens in traditional elections
because, for practical reasons, the vast majority of citizens *can't*
"see all phases of the voting process".

I think the issue is exactly to whom you are delegating your trust.
It seems reasonable to trust the candidates you vote for, to look after 
*your* vote,
and it's certainly *not* reasonable to have to trust people like 
unidentified programmers, or the people
who store voting machines.
> or that observers can be  
> required to posess any kind of specialised technical knowledge.
That's more interesting in my opinion. I'll be very interested to read 
that part - in particular
whether it's a broad philosophical statement, or just a judgment on 
specific issues that
were in question on the day ...
> General consensus among independent observers is that it's hard to  
> imagine any kind of voting machines or internet voting in Germany in  
> the next few decades. More analysis as well as translated source  
> material will follow. It's 50 pages in all, and an English translation  
> should be available in the next few days. Prepare to cry (at least I  
> did). There's something very moving to having the highest court in a  
> large country eloquently come to grips with the underlying issues and  
> then calmly but decidedly sticking it to government almost exactly  
> like it happens that one recurring dream.
Whatever (bad things) people say about lawyers and judges,
they do have the ability to cut through the bluster and waffle
that comes from civil servants and politicians. I think if the issue
had ever gotten as far as the courts in this country, something similar
would have resulted.

all the best,

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