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LOCAL ELECTIONS: 'PILOTS POINT THE WAY TO THE FUTURE'

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The Electoral Commission has begun its evaluation of the electoral pilot schemes which have been running across the...
The Electoral Commission has begun its evaluation of the electoral pilot schemes which have been running across the UK during April and May. The commission will assess the impact of new voting methods on election turnout and access to voting.

Reports will be published for the Kerrier, Eden and Stirling by-elections in April, as well as the 30 schemes running during Thursday's English local elections. The reports will look at how the schemes have been run and what lessons can be learned for future elections.

Early indications are that postal voting has boosted turnout and the various electronic means of voting have been positively received.

Sam Younger, chairman of the Electoral Commission, says: 'I'm delighted with the range of the schemes that have been run. They will provide us with a wealth of information to help in developing robust and user-friendly mean of voting for the future.'

The Electoral Commission has a statutory duty to report on the conduct of elections and pilots schemes. Reports will be published and submitted to the secretary of state for the DTLR.

NOTES

1. The commission was established on 30 November 2000 by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. It is independent of government and aims to ensure openness and transparency in the financial affairs of Britain's political parties, and to increase public confidence and participation in the democratic process.

2. The likely publication dates for the reports are:

Kerrier- 3 July 2002 Stirling-17 July 2002

Eden - 17 July 2002 English local elections - 1 August 2002

3. Turnout figures are available from LGCnet .

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