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Sixteen councils are to pilot new technologies and processes at this May's local elections....
Sixteen councils are to pilot new technologies and processes at this May's local elections.

Most are focused on increased ballot security following last year's controversies over postal voting fraud.

Lord Falconer, the lord chancellor, said the pilots would 'seek to make elections and electoral administration more straightforward, more accessible, more efficient and more cost effective'.

There are two large-scale pilots. All councils in Tyne & Wear, except North Tyneside MBC, will pilot voter signature checking and early voting.

Merseyside councils, except Wirral MBC, plan to test watermarked ballot papers with no counterfoils, a simplified postal vote statement and production of a marked register of postal voters.

Other pilots include electronic checks on postal vote signatures, e-counting and requirements for a signature from all voters at polling stations.

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