The voting process in Germany is strictly regulated to rule out any possible election fraud. Even electronic voting machines, which could malfunction, have been banned by the country's Constitutional Court.
Germany has in the past used voting machines, as is done in the United States and Brazil. But in 2009, the country's highest court has banned computers from the voting process on the grounds that the process had to be public. The same goes for counting the votes: 'Every single vote has to be read out loudly and noted in a public protocol. Transparency is key,' said Pötzsch.
'Public' here means that anyone can attend the counting process. And should there be doubts about the results from a certain polling station, it has to be possible to recount the votes. This was, according to the court's ruling - not possible when voting machines were used.
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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)