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E-voting pilots on the way

Trials to run at 2007 local elections
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor

Trials to run at 2007 local elections

The government is to trial electronic and internet voting at the local authority elections in England next May.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs is looking for local authorities to run pilots testing different voting methods at the elections, including internet and telephone voting, e-voting kiosks and electronic counting of votes.

Some technologies, such as electronic counting, were trialled in 15 pilot schemes in 21 councils at this year's local elections but e-voting was ruled out because of security concerns.

These included electronic vote-counting at Epping Forest District Council and the London Boroughs of Lewisham and Newham, as well as electronic signature-checking technology that uses optical character recognition.

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The DCA said the new pilots will build on the experience of those at this year's local elections and make elections more accessible by making it easier to vote.

Bridget Prentice, democracy minister at the DCA, said in a statement: "More and more people, and particularly young people, are using the internet in our daily lives. We need to respond to this to enable people to participate in elections and the democratic process."

The DCA will consult with the Electoral Commission to decide which pilot schemes will be chosen.

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