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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 November 2006, 21:19 GMT
Digital democracy
Now imagine you're in the polling station on election day, just about to drop your paper in the ballot box.

As you start to push it into the slot someone comes up and asks "are you sure you really want to vote for that candidate?"

Coming to a laptop near you?
It might sound like a cheek, but it's exactly what happens when you cast you vote by computer.

Supporters of electronic voting even claim it as an advantage over traditional paper-and-pencil because it allows a voter to correct any mistake.

Next year pilots of electronic voting will be resumed in this country after a four year lull. The list of councils taking part will be announced next month by the Department of Constitutional Affairs.

The success of reality shows like Big Brother and I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here has convinced the government that opening up elections to votes cast via telephones and computers could increase turn-out.

But critics wonder how reliable and secret the new technologies really are.

Our reporter John Beesley has been downloading the pros and cons of turning democracy digital.

Report on E-voting

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