Sigh, it’s all so depressingly predictable. My last post contained some headlines on problems with the new Belgian e-Voting system made by Smartmatic. As it turns out there’s a real problem with quite a few people unknowingly voting a preference for the candidate whose button (on the second screen), happens to be right where the button for his/her party was on the first screen.
A few days after my last post there’s an article in “Het Laatste Nieuws” in which Hendrik Bogaert, deputy minister for the civil service, afraid of large political risks, would like to see e-Voting scrapped entirely. Geert Bourgeois, the Flemish interior minister, denies the seriousness of the problem:
“What is possible is that the voter touches the screen too long and thus out of lazyness just touches the closest person. Two separate actions are necessary”, Bourgeois underlines. “My agency and the company that sells the computers both contradict that this could happen by pressing too long.” Even 85.000 tests by PriceWaterhouseCoopers have “never shown this problem”.
Guess what. Just a few days later this very same minister is quoted in De Standaard complaining he has been made to look like a complete fool. It turns out PWC (“From the people that certified Diginotar”) did know about these problems after all. You didn’t see that one coming, now did you? He also fears that anyone that did not get a seat because of these problems could go to court, which would cause major problems. (Which seems like a silly fear to mention in an interview, but OK.)
More seriously: how many “incidents” does it take for people to realize that the entire e-Voting industry is corrupt and/or incompetent?