[LINK] UK.gov ditches 'Big Brother'-style e-voting
brd at iimetro.com.au
Wed Sep 7 07:14:01 EST 2005
UK.gov ditches 'Big Brother'-style e-voting
By Tim Richardson
Published Tuesday 6th September 2005 15:38 GMT
The Government has ditched plans for electronic voting at next year's
local elections, it emerged today.
The news was slipped out in a written answer during the summer recess
prompting the Tories to describe plans for "widespread electronic voting
and an 'e-enabled general election' by next year" as "a shambles".
Rounding on the Government Oliver Heald MP, Shadow Secretary of State
for Constitutional Affairs, described the Government's e-voting plans as
"reckless" and "insecure".
"Past e-voting pilots in local elections have proved expensive and not
delivered any significant increase in turnout," said Heald.
"The Government must retain the tried and trusted ballot box as the
foundation of British democracy.
"Restoring public confidence in our electoral system is more important
than spending taxpayers' money on 'Big Brother' text messaging gimmicks.
"This lack of an adequate audit trail is extremely worrying in the light
of the risk of fraud already exposed with all-postal voting," he said.
But a spokesman for the Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA)
insisted that although people would not be able to vote electronically
next year, the Government was still keen to monitor its future use.
"The Government believes that the time is not yet right to take forward
the piloting of e-voting," said a spokesman.
"We are not ruling out piloting e-voting in the future and any future
plans will be taken forward at the appropriate time."
The Government set out its plans for alternative voting back in 2002
when the late Robin Cook said he hoped it would "enhance citizens'
involvement" in the democratic process.
In March, research carried out by pollsters MORI found that the vast
majority of Brits reckon high-tech voting methods - such as voting by
email or through a dedicated website - would make electoral fraud easier
Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The loved and the
rich need no protection: they have many friends and few enemies
-- Wendell Phillips
brd at iimetro.com.au
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