Polish election commission website hacked

November 19, 2014
A woman casts her ballot during the first round of Polish local elections, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. The voting is considered a test for the main parties ahead of the parliamentary elections next year. Some 30 million voters are eligible to choose nearly 47,000 councilors and 2,500 local administration leaders on Sunday, but observers are concerned about the possibility of a low turnout. Opinion polls gave a narrow lead to the governing pro-business Civic Platform party, over the nationalist opposition Law and Justice. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Computer hackers have attacked the website of Poland's electoral commission, which is still unable to publish full returns from local elections because of an unrelated computer glitch, officials said Wednesday.

The State Electoral Commission said while the website hacking incident didn't add further difficulties to the counting process, it ordered its officials to change their passwords.

The problems have undermined the credibility of Sunday's vote, which has been seen as a test of strength for new Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz before next year's general election.

Exit polls suggested a win for the opposition Law and Justice party in provincial assemblies, but the official returns for the assemblies were still unknown Wednesday, after the computer system failed, forcing a count by hand in some places.

President Bronislaw Komorowski said local commissions still counting the votes should be given all the time and support they need to do the task in a reliable and honest way. Komorowski condemned suggestions by some politicians that the nationwide vote be repeated.

"Let's not give in to madness. It can all be counted," Komorowski said after meeting with top judges who oversee Poland's legal system.

The meeting concluded that, once the full returns are announced, amendments should be made to the electoral law to rotate the commission's members.

Observers criticized the commission, saying it showed incompetence by making a last-minute choice on an information technology company for the vote count.

Official returns were announced Wednesday in mayoral votes, with runoffs in two weeks needed in some municipalities.

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