A recent electronic election in France has proved electronic some voting systems still cannot be trusted not to include fraudulent votes. The town hall primary election which ended on Monday saw four candidates of the Union Pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) vie for the honor to be the party’s candidate in the Paris mayoral elections scheduled for next spring. But, the entire affair has been tainted by claims of Metronews journalists that it’s extremely easy to cast a ballot in other voters’ name. The UMP had outsourced the organization of the election to Docapost, a subsidiary of the French postal service, which has apparently organized several successful union and political elections in the past. The company assured that every measure had been taken to prevent fraud, and the UMP had even hired a security expert to control the voting process and results.
Nevertheless, a journalist armed with a credit card and the names, addresses, date of birth, and marital status of some colleagues and a random person who’s CV he found online has managed to register them online for the voting and collect the security codes needed to do it. It didn’t matter that every registration was paid with the same credit card.
According to the news site (via Google Translate), Docapost has confirmed that it is made possible for one user to vote for two, as couples might share a phone or email address.
But to the journalist’s questions on why they were able to pay for a number of registrations with the same card, the company replied that they had ways of detecting the fraud and that the codes may not work at the polling station.
Despite all this being known before the elections started, the UMP leadership decided to go through with it, saying that they trusted Docapost to detect fraudulent voting attempts, and warning that electoral fraud is an illegal action that can result in a 15,000 euro fine and a year in prison for the fraudster.
According to the Metronews, the voting system has other bugs and requires complex computer adjustments – that is, complex for some users – that is sure to discourage some of them from voting.