UK government to trial electronic voting

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UK government to trial electronic voting

Vote early, vote often.

The UK government is to trial forms of electronic voting, including telephone and internet ballots.

In the forthcoming local elections five wards are going to be trialling electronic voting using the internet and telephone voting. Six council elections votes will be counted by electronic scanning machines in an effort to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

"More and more people, and particularly young people, are using the internet everyday. We need to see if we can use this to encourage people even more to participate in the democratic process," said Bridget Prentice, elections minister at the Department of Constitutional Affairs.

"We need to make sure that people can vote in more convenient ways consistent with a modern lifestyle. Not everyone can get to a polling station, so we need to introduce new ways to make it easier for people to exercise their right to vote.

No details have been announced over how internet or telephone voting systems will be protected against fraud.

Other trials include placing additional polling booths in popular locations, some outside the ward, and advance voting trials will be extended.

The independent Electoral Commission will evaluate the tests and will publish its findings by August 2007. The Commission will consider the impact of innovations on participation, security and cost effectiveness.
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