5

During the last referendum in Romania, the existing voting monitoring system did not work, creating doubt about the correctness of voting as this system allowed multiple voting detection:

Several non-governmental organizations asked today the Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă to elaborate an emergency ordinance for the introduction of the Electronic System for Voting Monitoring and Prevention of Illegal Voting (SIMPV) for the Constitutional referendum on the 6th and 7th of October. We have also drew the attention to the many issues raised by the legislation referring to the organization of the referendum and the need to address these shortcomings in Parliament in order to meet international recommendations.

The referendum did not reach the required voter turnout for its validation, but this was still an issue.

I am wondering if the EU demands in any way (treaty, directive or at least a recommendation) for the mandatory usage of electronic systems to prevent voting fraud. Or is this simply considered a strictly domestic issue?

Question: How does the European Union ensure the correctness of elections with member countries?

  • 1
    Are you talking about elections to the European parliament, or elections generally? I believe the answer to be "no" in both cases, but on the one hand due to their being no such provision and on the other due to the EU lacking the jurisdiction to make such a provision. – origimbo Nov 29 '18 at 15:13
  • 1
    @origimbo - I am talking about elections at member state level (not for European Parliament). I thought somehow it might make sense to have at least some recommendations similar to those related to democratic standards, juridical laws etc. – Alexei Nov 29 '18 at 15:16
  • There's always the OSCE. – Reinstate Monica - M. Schröder Nov 30 '18 at 21:34
  • In Britain there is a great deal of public suspicion associated with electronic voting, (especially after the 2000 presidential election in the United States). Hence it is done in the time honoured way using pencils and voting slips, which are counted in front of candidates and their representatives. It is not a routine practice for elections to be invigilated by the EU. – WS2 Nov 30 '18 at 22:49
  • @Abigail The way it works in the UK is that numbered padlocked ballot boxes transported to a counting centre. This is usually a large sports hall with an island of tables in the middle, behind which counters (local-government employees) sit. Candidates and their nominees (each candidate is allocated a certain number of tickets for count invigilators) can walk around the table island watching what the counters are doing. If the result is close a re-count is ordered at the request of any losing candidate. Special arrangements are made for postal and proxy voters. – WS2 Dec 3 '18 at 13:20
2

In general the EU relies on the individual member states to validate election results via their normal constitutional methods, both for domestic elections (where it doesn't make any significant provisions beyond universal suffrage and representative democracy) and for elections to the European parliament. In the latter case, it requires the use of a proportional voting system, that all citizens of other EU countries resident in a member state have the right to vote, and that candidates cannot be members of various other bodies, but makes no other demands.

EU countries do talk to each other regarding the use of technology in elections. However, the use varies between extremes such as Estonia, where a large minority vote online and the Netherlands, where almost the entire system is based on paper. Similarly viewpoints on the role and risks of electronics in elections are varied since on the one hand automation reduces random human errors caused by oversight or boredom, and on the other it introduces network security risks and the opportunity for systematic errors in programming or use.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .