In getting back to some of my favorite Amsterdam habits, last night around 2am I decided to turn on the television and see if anything interesting was on. Dutch public television tends to re-run the days programs, so I always check there first for news or investigative reports of any kind. While usually they involve a police officer writing a ticket for a parking violation or some other lame infraction, I was very excited to see a report on voting machines.
You may recall a few months ago, when my podcast was focused on the Dutch movement Wij vertrouwen Stemcomputers Niet (we don’t trust voting computers). I went over to Rop Gonggrijp’s interesting house and he explained the trouble with voting machines, especially the very prominant Dutch machine maker Nedap.
Sure enough, last night one of the star witnesses of the program was none other then Rop! During the segment, they got their hands on one of the machines, and in a matter of minutes, had managed to open it without a key and using very un-sophisticated methods, change the configuration so that all votes no matter what button your press, go to one party.
The camera crew also went to one of the storage places where these machines are kept, and found little to no security watching over the machines. When they tried to speak to the minister in charge of these things, he was away on vacation. When they showed the program to a pair of parliamentarians, they were both shocked and had new questions for the practice of using electronic voting in the Netherlands.
All in all, it was exciting to see this investigation, and I very much felt a part of it. Such a shocking example in such a supposedly model democracy, should send shockwaves around the world, and further bury these voting machine companies that are trying to make big money in exchange for throwing away fair and secure elections.