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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 August 2007, 08:03 GMT 09:03 UK
Plea not to scrap e-voting trials
Woman casting her vote electronically
The Electoral Commission said there was "little merit" in holding more trials
Swindon council bosses are defending web and phone voting pilots in the wake of calls for them to be scrapped.

The town was one of 12 authorities in England to test e-voting during the May local elections.

But the Electoral Commission has said there was "little merit" in holding more trials until the government had worked out how to modernise elections.

Deputy returning officer Alan Winchcombe said that while it may have failed elsewhere, it worked in Swindon.

'Choice and flexibility'

"Everybody does things on the internet or by telephone these days and if we don't bring the voting process into the modern age, the younger population in Swindon won't bother to vote," he said.

"That's what they're telling us, they won't go to one polling station on one day to do it, they need to have some choice and flexibility.

"We had some people voting at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning because it suited their lifestyle."

The commission examined electronic voting, voting in advance of polling day, electronic counting and signing for ballot papers at the polling station.

Concerns were raised about low public confidence in the security of internet and phone voting, accessibility and technical difficulties.

The commission called on the government to publish a strategy for modernising the electoral process - including changes to improve security.




SEE ALSO
Halt e-voting, says election body
02 Aug 07 |  UK Politics
E-voters 'not boosting turnout'
05 Jul 07 |  UK Politics
Swindon's enthusiasm for e-voting
02 May 07 |  Wiltshire

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