High court kyboshes e-voting

Germans taking part in the upcoming general election in September will not be able cast their ballots by computer, following a high court ruling on Tuesday that electronic voting machines used in 2005 were unlawful.

High court kyboshes e-voting
Time to go old skool. Photo: DPA

The use of around 1,800 computer voting systems by roughly two million people in the 2005 election was unconstitutional as voters could not check if their ballot had been cast correctly, the country’s Constitutional Court said.

The ruling has no consequence for the 2005 election, which ended on a knife-edge with both candidates for head of government, Angela Merkel and Gerhard Schröder, initially claiming victory.

But there is no time before elections set for September 27 to introduce machines that comply with the court ruling, Thomas Strobl, head of a parliamentary election monitoring body, told reporters after the decision.

Conservative Christian Democrat Merkel, now chancellor after forming a “grand coalition” with Schröder’s rival centre-left Social Democrats, is seeking a second term in this autumn’s general election.