Councils to announce election results in public to improve transparency

Photo: J M Luijt at Dutch Wikipedia

Local councils will be required to announce election results in public meetings and publish them on the internet from next year as part of a plan to make the system more transparent.

The government aims to have the new rules in place by March 2019, in time for the next provincial assembly elections which also determine the make-up of the Senate.

At present election results are announced by mayors but there is no requirement to publish the outcome in full.

The measures are expected to lengthen the time it takes for representatives to be sworn in after election day from eight days to 13. Other reforms include a ban on election candidates working at polling stations in order to prevent conflicts of interest.

Around 14,000 votes cast in this year’s general election in March were wrongly counted as a result of mistakes made by the central counting office in each of the 20 electoral districts, the electoral council reported.

The government ordered all votes in the election to be counted by hand in response to concerns that electronic or digital counts were vulnerable to hacking.