DOS computer system bug halts Belgian election results

voting-bug

A computer system that’s roughly as old as the first Secret of Monkey Island computer games is currently drawing out the excitement of the recent Belgian European, federal and regional elections.

The country used an e-voting system for the election – an e-voting system using DOS era hardware and software. I kid you not.

“The voting machines in question are x86 PCs from the DOS era, with two serial ports, a parallel port, a paltry 1 megabyte of RAM and a 3.5-inch disk drive used to load the voting software from a bootable DOS disk,” IT World reports.

Even though the system is roughly as old as Asterix’ village, the real issue seems to be a bug in the voting software. The bug caused “incoherent” election results when trying to add up preferential votes.

“The fault appeared in the system despite the fact that the application was especially developed for these elections, was “tested thousands of times” and was certified by PriceWaterhouseCoopers,” ministry spokesman Peter Grouwels said.

You’d expect the certification to be written in stone….

Belgium – the country of chocolate, comics…and computers from the crustacean period.

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