[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,
Michael



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