British Electoral Commission calls a halt on eVoting15 August, 2007
|By Allison Orr|
At the British local government elections on 3 May this year, electoral pilot schemes were trialled in 12 electorates. These pilots allowed electronic voting at polling stations, electronic counting, remote electronic voting, and telephone voting. These schemes have now been evaluated and the reports have been published.
The results were mixed across electorates, with some having technical difficulties, and others experiencing significant problems in eCounting that resulted in reverting to manual counts. In these cases, the counting took much longer than a normal manual count would have taken.
However, the Commission points out that there was insufficient time to implement and plan the pilot schemes and quality assurance testing was done too late. Some best practice solutions that had been learned in previous schemes were not implemented and concerns were raised regarding transparency of the eCounting process.
The Commission recommends a halt to eVoting until the following elements are in place:
- There must be a comprehensive electoral modernisation strategy, outlining how transparency, public trust and cost effectiveness can be achieved.
- A central process must be implemented to ensure that sufficiently secure and transparent eVoting solutions that have been tested and approved can be selected by local authorities.
- Sufficient time must be allocated for planning eVoting pilots.
See also our previous story on this issue: New report expresses concerns over eVoting in Britain