Headlines: May 24th, 2002

New research suggests there’s a good deal of work to be done before a
general election could be held using new technology to gather votes.

The report from De Montfort University was commissioned to explore
barriers to e-voting and to suggest ways of overcoming them in order to
pave the way for an e-enabled general election some time after 2006.

Key findings include that voters will have to be offered a range of ways
to vote, including the traditional polling station, to suit their
commitments and lifestyles.

It says that public support for e-voting exists, but a programme of
education will be needed to support those less confident in using new

On a practical side, it recommends that elections should continue to be
administered locally as this offers a range of security and operational
benefits, and that pilots should pave the way for national roll-out, to
overcome technical or legal concerns around e-voting.

The report was funded by a partnership of the government, The Electoral
Commission, Improvement and Development Agency, Local Government
Association and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives

The report and supporting research papers are available at