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Government 'has no timetable' for e-voting

This year's local elections aren't going to be decided with electronic voting systems

The government will not use electronic voting technology in local elections this year because of concerns about security.

The Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA) has just announced electoral modernisation pilots to take place at 16 local authorities in the May 2006 local elections.

This will include the use of electronic vote-counting technology 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.

But there are currently still no plans to allow people to vote using the Internet, telephone, text message or digital TV because of worries about the security of such a system.

The DCA told ZDNet UK sister site silicon.com e-voting technology will not be used in any elections this year and there is currently no timetable for when it will be used.

It said: "Because of concerns of the security of votes we need to make sure people have confidence in the system. We need to be sure it is completely tamper-proof."

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister had been planning trials of SMS and Internet voting this year with a view to the technology being used in the next general election but cancelled a tender inviting IT suppliers to bid for the projects after lead responsibility for electoral modernisation was handed to the DCA.