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UK confirms e-voting death

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There are no plans to introduce e-voting in the UK, or even to conduct further pilots of the technology, a government minister has confirmed.

The government has flirted with the technology in past and claimed it could be a way to increase participation in elections.

Michael Wills, a Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, was asked if the government planned to introduce e-voting before the local and European elections in 2009. He said last week: "The Government do not plan to introduce e-voting for the 2009 European or local elections ... The Government have no plans for further e-voting pilots in statutory elections at this stage."

The UK electoral system has come in for some heavy criticism recently - the Rowntree Reform Trust and the election commissioner both said the system is wide open to fraud.

The Trust said e-voting pilots were "extremely expensive and there is no evidence to suggest that e-voting offers any significant scope for turnout to be increased by this means" and that: "Serious concerns persist about the security and transparency of e-voting systems and their vulnerability to organised fraud."

E-voting has been heavily criticised in the US and even the electronic counting of votes in the London mayoral elections did not convince all observers. ®

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