Annual report 2006 Dutch Electoral Council

The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, in consultation with the Electoral Council, initiated the Versterking Kiesraad (‘Enhancement of the Electoral Council’) project in mid-2005. The project’s objective was to improve the means available to the Electoral Council’s for the optimum performance of its duties by providing for a more independent positioning of the Electoral Council from the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and by the enhancement of the Council’s secretariat. These duties relate to the Electoral Council’s roles as the central electoral committee, advisory body, and centre of expertise for all those involved in the election procedure.

Municipal council elections were held on 7 March 2006. The elections of the members to the House of Representatives of the States General were originally scheduled for May 2007. However, as a result of the fall of the Government in the summer of 2006 early elections were held on 22 November 2006.

Increased attention to election process

Until recently the duties involved in conducting elections were carried out behind the scenes. However the situation changed during the 2006 elections, following
the formation of the Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet (‘We do not trust voting machines’) Foundation. The Foundation successfully drew attention to the weaknesses of the Dutch election procedure. In addition, the 2006 elections of members to serve in the House of Representatives of the Sates General were the first to be monitored by an international election assessment mission from the OCSE.