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Proponents of e-voting were dealt a blow today after the Electoral Commission concluded that the UK is just "not ready" to vote electronically.

The Commission was responding to a Government announcement in September which called for further trials of postal and e-voting to take place at next year's European Parliament elections.

While the Commission acknowledges that there is "some enthusiasm" to trial e-voting at next year's elections, it concludes that there are still big concerns about the complexity, lack of time available and security of Internet and phone voting.

Said the Commission in its report, Electoral pilots at the June 2004 elections: "With regard to electronic voting at the regional level in 2004 the Commission is concerned that insufficient time remains for all necessary contractual, security and software development to take place for the elections in June.

"It has therefore decided not to recommend an electronic pilot for next June."

Instead, the Commission recommends that voters in the North East and East Midlands should be given the chance to vote only by post at the European Parliament and local elections next year as part of voting reforms. ®

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UK to trial e-voting - again

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