Study of Dutch election finds 14,000 votes were miscounted

Queuing up to vote in the Binnenhof. Photo: Gordon Darroch

Thousands of votes cast in this year’s Parliamentary election were counted for the wrong party or not at all, an independent study has found.

Analysis by Politieke Academie, which specialises in elections and campaigns, uncovered 14,000 discrepancies between the official results and counts carried out by the 388 municipal authorities.

By far the largest number of wrongly attributed votes were in Boxmeer, North Brabant, where 7600 votes were omitted from the official total. Only votes for the VVD, PvdA, PVV and Socialist Party were sent from the count.

The Christian Democrats have raised questions in Parliament about the missing votes. MP Hanke Bruins Slot said it was important to ensure that ‘our electoral process is working and in particular that it can be relied on’.

Boxmeer is part of the Den Bosch electoral district, where a number of other issues were identified, such as 1100 votes for the progressive liberal D66 party that were not included in the results from Bergeijk.

No advantage

Elsewhere, the votes cast for Thierry Baudet’s Forum voor Democratie party in Goes were given to Jacques Monasch’s Nieuwe Wegen. Baudet won two seats in Parliament while Monasch fell short of the threshold for a seat.

Although the election outcome was close and the 150 seats shared between 13 parties, Politieke Academie said no party gained or lost seats because of the mistakes. The interior ministry has said that the election result is final and irrevocable.

Politieke Academie said that the decision to count all votes by hand because of fears of hacking had contributed to the problem, along with a lack of checking mechanisms.

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