In November 2019, an error in the code of pole management software used by the canton of Friborg went wrong. The election was caused by the council’s extraordinary combination of states and three municipal elections without a list, according to a report.
According to AKW, the company responsible for the independent report published on Wednesday, the database interruption caused by a programming error was used in the SyGEV system in the canton of Friborg. The error in the code was present for some time but did not take effect until then.
On November 10, 2019, PLR candidate Johanna Gapney defeated outgoing PDC Senator Beit Vonlanthen by 138 votes. Due to computer problems, results could not be declared until 9:15 am. The PDC then requested a failure.
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The report stated that the management application has been in use since 2015 and was used for about 40 ballots. But this combination of one national election and three municipal elections without a list had never happened before. Therefore a programming error could not be detected.
Bugs were not detected in tests prior to the event, as they tested each election separately, but the bug only appears during specific combinations. Since then the error in the code has been corrected and improvements have been implemented, most notably in communications and crisis management.
The current contract with the supplier lasts until 2024. The audit shows no barriers to continued use of the software, an opinion shared by the Friborg Council of State.
The latter indicates, in response to questions from two cantonal MPs and sent to the media on Wednesday, that the SyGEV application will be used for the March 2021 municipal elections. This excludes the possibility of switching to another software.
“There is no turnkey system. SyGEV, a computer system used in Friborg since 2015, meets the needs of municipalities, provinces and chancellors. Changing it will not solve any problems, on the contrary,” wrote among others . state Council.
Regarding the municipal elections of March 7, the Friborg government specifies that a general test in all municipalities will take place in January. He is convinced that measures taken since the incident have made it possible to limit the risk of breakdown as much as possible, even if zero risk is not present.
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