Public book prize cancelled after attempts to manipulate the vote
A major Dutch book prize, based on a public vote, will not be awarded this year because of the ‘large scale manipulation’ of the voting process.
Voting for the NS Publieksprijs was suspended for a time last week after it emerged email addresses for MPs were being used to vote for a book on coronavirus by far right MP Thierry Baudet.
Dutch book promotion foundation CPNB, which tried to offset that attempt to manipulate the voting process, said that it had still been impossible to organise a fair vote.
The aim of the competition is to encourage reading and it is ‘sad’ that this objective has now been hit by the fraudulent votes, the foundation said.
The prize, sponsored by railway company NS, is awarded every year on the basis of a shortlist of six titles, but readers can also nominate other books.
Baudet’s book Het Coronabedrog was not on shortlist, which is made up of the six best selling books over the past year. Voting should have continued to November 16.
The CPNB says it will now divide up the prize money of €7,500 between the six nominated authors. Each author will also get a year’s free travel on the railways.
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