New pilot projects in United Kingdom

Building on the work of the UK’s Electoral Commission, the UK’s Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) announced earlier this week a serious of election pilot projects to be conducted in sixteen localities in their May 2006 local elections. The complete description of the localities and their pilot projects is here.

Some of the pilot projects include:

  • Early voting in Broxbourne, South Tyneside, Sunderland, Gateshead and Newcastle.
  • Electronic checking of postal vote signatures in the Epping Forest District Council and the London Borough of Newham.
  • Early voting at supermarkets in the London Borough of Lewisham.
  • Mobile voting and “E-enabled, networked early voting (at) local military bases” in the London Borough of Newham.
  • The use of a “networked electronic registrar” in Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council.
  • “Early mobile voting for service voters at military bases in Westminster.”

According to the material provided so far, it appears that the DCA and the Electoral Commission will work with these local authorities to make sure that these efforts are adequately evaluated. We look forward to seeking the results of these evaluation studies, as the previous projects undertaken by the Electoral Commission have been very valuable (as we have written about in the past on Election Updates).

Some of the background information regarding these pilot projects, including the project prospectus, are available from the Electoral Commission.