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German High Court Outlaws Electronic Voting

Justices of the German Federal Constitutional Court. Image

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Michael Collins

(DailyCensored.Com) The justices above are clearly the most rational group of high level functionaries in the industrialized world. They did what no other court would do in Europe or the United States. They effectively outlawed electronic voting. On March 3, 2009, the German Federal Constitutional Court declared that the electronic voting machines used in the 2005 Bundestag elections for the German national parliament were outside of the bounds of the German Constitution.

They reasoned that electronic voting is not verifiable because citizen votes are counted in secret. It obscured a technology inaccessible to all but a very few initiates. Most importantly, the German high court noted, electronic voting machines don't allow citizens to "reliably examine, when the vote is cast, whether the vote has been recorded in an unadulterated manner" Mar. 3, 2009.

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The written opinion effectively bars electronic voting in future elections based on the complexity of voting machines and the inability of voters to watch their vote being counted. This raises the bar of acceptability well above the meaningless solutions offered by "paper trails" for touch screen voting or the so-called "paper ballots" for computerized optical scan voting machines, the most popular form of voting in the United States.

Germany's 2009 Bundestag elections were conducted with hand counted paper ballots.

Have you heard that one of the world's leading economic powers, the fourth largest economy in the world, banned electronic voting; said it was undemocratic? Given the multitude of problems encountered in the U.S. and the number of questionable election results, wouldn't it make sense that when Germany banned electronic voting and replaced it with paper ballots, there would be at least a days worth of national coverage in the United States?

Nothing like that occurred. The Associated Press (Times of India) story on the verdict danced around the periphery of the world media market with coverage in Turkey, India, Australia, and Ireland. But there were no major media takers for the AP story in the United States.

There was every reason to carry the story. In a 2006 Zogby poll, 92% of the 1028 registered voters surveyed said they agreed with this statement:

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Citizens have the right to view and obtain information about how election officials count votes - 92% agree. New Zogby Poll On Electronic Voting Attitudes Aug. 21, 2006

That's exactly the proposition that the German court upheld. Surely there was an audience for the German decision but there was hardly a word from corporate media.

Why did this happen?

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