Manipulation in the CDU online vote on combustion engines

Photo: exhaust (archive), via dts news agency

Berlin (dts) - The CDU's online vote on the end of combustion engines was apparently manipulated. By Saturday morning, over 85 percent of those surveyed had spoken out on the site in favor of a ban and thus against the CDU's demand.

Christoph Schleifer from Campaigning Software GmbH, which carried out the survey on behalf of the CDU, told “Bild am Sonntag”: “The CDU’s vote on the combustion engine ban that started yesterday was massively manipulated. Tens of thousands of votes were cast automatically. We therefore recommended that the CDU cancel the vote. I have never experienced anything like this with such coordination in our systems.”

The chosen security standard is completely sufficient for this type of survey and offers a good balance between a high level of security and a low threshold. “The only thing that can help against the level of criminal energy that exists here is a complex system with two-factor authentication using an email or mobile number. But that stands in the way of possible simple, low-threshold participation,” said Schleifer.

CDU General Secretary Carsten Linnemann told “Bild am Sonntag”: “It’s terrible how far things have come in this country. It's sad how criminal energy is used to manipulate things here. Any manipulation of votes is unacceptable in an election campaign. As the CDU, we stand for a fair election campaign.”

The CDU wants to reverse the EU-wide phase-out of combustion engines from 2035. On its own website, the party asks the question: “Do you support the demand to withdraw the ban on combustion engines?” The answer options are “yes” or “no”. No registration was required to participate; voting was anonymous.