Russia tried to influence last month’s Dutch election by spreading fake news, according to the annual report of the Dutch intelligence service AIVD, published Tuesday. Rob Bertholee, the head of AIVD, told local media that Moscow did not succeed in “substantially influencing” the election process. “I think they have tried to push voters in the wrong direction by spreading news items that are not true, or partially true,” Bertholee said, without mentioning specific examples.
Articles about voting issues in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Netherlands: Populists Appear to Fall Short in Dutch Election, Amid High Turnout | The New York Times
European populism faced its first big electoral test since last year’s “Brexit” referendum and Donald J. Trump’s election. Turnout was the highest in decades. The main exit poll indicated that the largest party in Parliament will remain the center-right party of Mark Rutte, the prime minister, with 31 of 150 seats. He has moved rightward in recent months, making tougher pronouncements on immigration but steering clear of the xenophobic and borderline racist statements of other parties. The far-right populist party of Geert Wilders gained seats, but did not perform as strongly as expected. Exit polls suggested that it was tied for second place with the conservative party Christian Democratic Appeal and the center-left pro-European party Democrats 66 — each with 19 seats. Also making a relatively strong showing were the left-leaning Greens, with 16 seats. The leftist, euroskeptic Socialist Party is projected to have 14 seats.
Even the digitally savvy activists of the Pirate Party still use analog campaign methods. “Hello, can I offer you a flyer?”, the party’s leader, Ancilla van de Leest, asked passers-by in Amsterdam on Tuesday. The two men on their way to Amsterdam’s LGBTQ film festival kindly rejected her offer. “Do go out and vote, though,” she responded. One day before the elections for the Dutch lower house of parliament, Van de Leest’s party is predicted by an aggregate of six polls to receive around 1 percent of the votes, which for the first time could be enough for a seat. If elected, Van de Leest hopes to increase the level of debate on digital affairs. “The level of knowledge [about technology] is really low,” she said about the current members of parliament, adding that MPs often admit so themselves.
Twitter was hacked on a large scale on Wednesday and swastikas and messages supporting Turkish leaders were posted on accounts around the world. The thousands of accounts affected spanned institutions such as the United Kingdom’s health department and Amnesty International, to media including the BBC in the United States and Forbes to celebrities such as singer Justin Bieber and German soccer club Borussia Dortmund.
Netherlands: With 28 parties running, Dutch voters have to use these really huge ballots | The Washington Post
The Dutch are voting, and much of the world is watching to see whether far-right populist Geert Wilders will come out on top. But Wilders and his party, the Party for Freedom (PVV), are far from the only force in the election. A record 28 parties are competing for the 150 seats in the lower house of Dutch parliament, known as the Tweede Kamer. In practical terms, this has a very obvious effect on voting day: The Dutch ballots are enormous. So enormous, in fact, that people can’t stop sharing photos of them.
Dutch voters cast ballots Wednesday at polling booths across the nation in parliamentary elections that are being closely watched as a possible indicator of the strength of far-right populism ahead of national votes in France and Germany later this year. Two-term Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s right-wing VVD party was leading in polls ahead of the Dutch vote, with the anti-Islam Party for Freedom of firebrand lawmaker Geert Wilders a close second. Wilders voted amid tight security and unprecedented media attention at a school in a modern neighborhood on the edge of The Hague early in the day.
Russian election interference is all the rage these days — just ask the United States, France, or Germany. Now the Netherlands is grappling with some new unwelcome meddlers: Americans. Several wealthy Americans bankrolled the campaign of Geert Wilders, the country’s far-right, anti-EU, and anti-immigrant candidate according to new campaign finance records the Dutch government released this week. One right-wing activist, David Horowitz, donated $150,000 to Wilders’s Party for Freedom (PVV) between 2015 and 2017. It’s a drop in the bucket in American terms, but the money goes much further in a small western European country that relies heavily on public funds for elections. Horowitz’s 2015 donations to PVV — $120,000 — was the country’s largest individual political donation that year, the record shows.
It shouldn’t really come as a surprise, but the audacity remains breathtaking: In the past six months, foreign countries, in particular Russia, have tried hacking email accounts of Dutch government employees in at least 100 cases. That figure was recently revealed by Rob Bertholee, head of the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD). He said the hackers had attempted to gather sensitive information about government positions. One of their targets was the Ministry of General Affairs, where Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s office is also located. Back in December, Rutte had already said his government was aware of potential foreign interference in next Wednesday’s election. “It would be naïve to think it doesn’t happen here,” the Director Cyber Security at Northwave and former AIVD employee, Pim Takkenberg, told DW. “Russia has the right specialists, and it’s quite easy to do.”
Well before doors open, dozens are queueing outside the Gebr de Nobel concert hall on a cold Monday evening in the Dutch university town of Leiden. The act they have come to see? Jesse Klaver, the leader of GroenLinks (GreenLeft), the leftwing party surging in Dutch polls. Sunita, a children’s therapist from The Hague, first bumped into Mr Klaver in an Apple store. “I said: ‘You are the only one with a vision.’” It was the first time she had spoken to a politician. The 30-year-old Mr Klaver could register a breakout election success next week. GreenLeft is forecast to win up to 20 seats in the vote — a fivefold increase from its previous effort. If it does so it would probably overtake the Dutch Labour party, traditionally the country’s largest left-of-centre political force.
The Dutch Electoral Council Tuesday updated its procedures for the March 15 parliamentary elections. Official results will be announced March 21, but preliminary figures will be available election night. The Electoral Council said they’d allow the communes and regional offices to use software to tally votes, in parallel to manual counting. Dutch officials will still have to transfer the results from some 9,000 polling stations and regional electoral headquarters to The Hague by hand, but the people counting the votes will be able to use the oft-criticized “supporting election software” instead of working with spreadsheets.