This paper has been published as: Anne-Marie Oostveen (2010) Outsourcing Democracy: Losing Control of e-Voting in the Netherlands. Policy and Internet 2 (4) 201-220.
Contracting out IT services is a common practice for many governments. This case-study shows that outsourcing is not without risk, especially where elections are concerned. 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, 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.