00:59 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Foreign countries. Netherlands. Amsterdam

    Dutch to Hand-Count Ballots in March Election to Avoid Hacking

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    All ballots in the March parliamentary election in the Netherlands will be counted by hand due to fears that foreign hackers, including from Russia, may interfere and influence the results, Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In a recent letter to parliamentarians Plasterk wrote that no shadow of doubt could be permitted to hang over the election result.

    "Now there are indications that Russians could be interested, for the following elections we must fall back on good old pen and paper," Plasterk told the RTL broadcaster as quoted by Deutsche Welle on Wednesday.

    According to reports, Dutch electronic tallying software used in counting centers is not secure.

    In January, EU Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King said that France, Germany and the Netherlands may have been subjected to hacking attacks in the light of the upcoming elections.

    Federal elections in Germany, French presidential election and Dutch general election are due to be held in 2017.

    On January 6, the US Intelligence Community released a report saying it had high confidence that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. However, the report did not offer proof for the claims that Russia attempted to hack and influence the US election process.

    Russia has repeatedly denied the US allegations calling them absurd and characterizing them as an attempt to divert public opinion from revelations of corruption as well as other pressing domestic issues.

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