German voters to revert to pen and paper, court rules

March 3rd, 2009 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Berlin, March 3 (DPA) Voting booths in Germany can no longer be equipped with electronic “vote computers”, the German Constitutional Court ruled Tuesday.
At this year’s general election due in September, voters can expect to use pen and paper, after the Karlsruhe-based court ruled that the machines contradict the public nature of elections.

The terminals, which electronically register a voter’s choice, have been used in German elections for 10 years, including the 2005 general election when 2 million people voted by button.

Voters should not need to be computer literate to register their choice, the judges ruled. They also criticised the fact that the machines didn’t let voters check what choice they had made.

For this reason it was difficult to detect programming errors or deliberate manipulation of the machines.

There has been no evidence of the machines having failed in the past, therefore the results of previous elections remain valid.

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