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Controversial voting software is used at Provincial Council elections

The Dutch voting software Supporting Software Elections (OSV) will also be used at the Provincial Council elections on 20 March. In the software, vulnerabilities have been found in recent years.

The Electoral Council writes in the 2018 annual report (pdf) that the software needs to be replaced. The OSV has been used since June 2009 to count votes and calculate results, but has been found unsafe several times over the years.

After research by RTL Nieuws, vulnerabilities in OSV were found in 2017. Hackers could abuse the software to influence the outcome of elections. A year later, after a new study by RTL Nieuws, it appeared that the software still contained dozens of vulnerabilities.

The Electoral Council states that “the security and software concept on which the OSV programs are based must be revised”. The Electoral Council is consulting with minister Kajsa Ollongren of Home Affairs about adjustments. The minister wants to deploy new software in 2021.

In 2018 the budget of the Electoral Council was raised by € 67,000 to implement changes to the voting software and thus close security leaks.

About the author: Rick Culpepper

Rick Culpepper is of those journalists who dig the topic to the very bottom. He is often late with the delivery of the piece, but always does it perfectly. In his spare time, he collects data for one of the most high-profile investigations of corruption in the EU.

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