Recounting of votes does not change the outcome of the House of Representatives election

The recount of the six thousand votes in Tilburg will not change the outcome of the House of Representatives elections. The municipality reports this. The votes from four polling stations were recounted on Saturday afternoon. This was necessary because ‘an inexplicable counting difference’ had been found in four polling stations in Tilburg. Earlier this day, the House of Representatives agreed to the recount during a last-minute meeting.

According to Mayor Theo Weterings, almost all counting differences have been corrected after the recount. At one polling station the result is correct, at two there remains an inexplicable difference of one vote and at the last polling station there are two such differences. “It often concerns human errors in which fatigue most likely played a role.”

As an example, he gives the number of votes for a candidate that has been corrected by twenty. “Someone at the polling station called out 22 during the count and the other wrote down two. Yes, then you get these kinds of differences.”

The total counting difference was 75, the Committee for the Examination of Credentials reports. Thanks to the recount, the counting difference has been reduced to four. The committee will report to the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Although the distribution of seats will almost certainly not change, the official election results will be slightly adjusted by the Electoral Council. It will hold a public hearing in the House of Representatives on Monday at two o’clock to adopt a new report of the results.

Votes counted
The recount took place on Saturday in the company building of Bedrijfs Afval Team Bedrijven in Tilburg. There were four long tables in the room on which the votes from the four polling stations were counted. About forty people worked on it for almost four hours.

A number of MPs had traveled to Tilburg to monitor. This concerns the entire Commission for the Verification of Credentials. Mainly municipal officials were called in to do the counting.

Change in result
The recount was important for the reliability of the elections, according to committee chairman Ulysse Ellian (VVD). The recount makes no difference to the total of 10.5 million votes. But simply not doing a recount is not an option. Ellian: “In a democracy, every vote matters. The elections must be a verifiable and transparent process and that is why we are conducting a recount.”

The House of Representatives met on Saturday morning at the request of this committee. Within three minutes the vote and with it the meeting, which had only been called for Friday, was over. A few hours later, the recount started in Tilburg. “That haste is necessary because the Constitution prescribes that the House of Representatives will be installed on Wednesday,” Ellian explained. “The electoral council only met on Friday, so there is little time.”

Mayor Theo Weterings also noticed this haste. “I had to hear from journalists that there was going to be a recount, the committee could have called me first,” he said with a laugh. “The recount was a bit of a grind and then a lot of hard work to prepare everything.”

Weterings already saw it coming that a recount might be necessary in his city. “Just like at other polling stations, there was a counting difference of two percent. According to the new law, a recount is only allowed if there is a difference of more than fifteen votes, so then it is our turn here.” He thinks out loud about an explanation. “Maybe it’s counting errors or people taking the ballot outside?”