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Submission Voting systems company threatens Dutch state

Eelco writes: The monopolist provider of software used during elections in The Netherlands has threatened the Dutch state after the state ordered security enhancements right before the parliamental elections of 2006. This was discovered by the we-don't-trust-voting-computers foundation who received, invoking the Dutch Freedom of Information Act, shocking internal documents from the Dutch Electoral Council. In one of the e-mails, the companies owner Jan Groenendaal threatens (translated) that his company will cease all activity if Rop Gonggrijp of the we-don't-trust-voting-computers foundation becomes a member of the independent commission that is investigating the future of the electoral process. Moreover, he demands the state to buy his company, in exchange for his cooporation during the next national elections. The full story shows a weird an almost not imaginable relationship between the Dutch state and the company that provides all software to tabulate election results, as well as the software used in 90% of the voting machines itself.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"