Outsourcing Democracy: Losing Control of e-Voting in the Netherlands

Anne-Marie OostveenUniversity of Oxford


Outsourcing IT services is a common practice for many governments. This case study shows that outsourcing of elections is not without risk. Studying electronic voting in the Netherlands through documents obtained with Freedom of Information requests, we see that government agencies at both local and national level lacked the necessary knowledge and capability to identify appropriate voting technology, to develop and enforce proper security requirements, and to monitor performance. Furthermore, over the 20 years that e-voting was used in the Netherlands, the public sector became so dependent on the private sector that a situation evolved where Dutch government lost ownership and control over both the e-voting system and the election process.

Recommended Citation

Oostveen, Anne-Marie (2010) “Outsourcing Democracy: Losing Control of e-Voting in the Netherlands,” Policy & Internet: Vol. 2: Iss. 4, Article 8.
DOI: 10.2202/1944-2866.1065
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