Constitutional Restrictions on Touch-Screen Voting Computers in Germany

8 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2011

See all articles by Greg Taylor

Greg Taylor

University of Adelaide - School of Law; University of Marburg; RMIT University - Graduate School of Business and Law

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

On March 3, 2009, the Second Senate of the German Constitutional Court, in a unanimous judgment of eight judges, ruled unconstitutional the use of touch-screen voting computers (sometimes referred to as “D.R.E.s” or direct recording electronic machines) in the federal general elections of 2005 – without, however, disturbing the results of those elections. In so doing the Court deviated from American decisions on the same point, such as that of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Weber v. Shelley, the Eleventh Circuit in Wexler v. Anderson and the Supreme Court of Georgia in Favorito v. Handel.

In this article, I explain the German decision and consider whether computerized voting has a future in Germany. I also suggest that the German position is preferable to that of the American courts, although to a considerable extent the German decision is to be ascribed to constitutional provisions which have no exact counterpart in the United States of America rather than to courts’ different views of the reliability of D.R.E.s.

Keywords: Constitution, Germany, Computerized Voting, United States of America

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K10, K19, K20, K29, K30, K39, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Taylor, Greg, Constitutional Restrictions on Touch-Screen Voting Computers in Germany (2010). Election Law Journal, Vol. 9, p. 443, 2010, Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010/44, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1938001

Greg Taylor (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Ligertwood Building
Adelaide 5005, South Australia SA 5005
Australia

University of Marburg ( email )

Universitätsstrasse 24
Marburg, D-35032
Germany

RMIT University - Graduate School of Business and Law ( email )

Melbourne
Australia

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