elections - with turnout increasing hugely in most of the areas.
Additionally, for the first time ever thousands of people in parts of
Feedback on e-voting has been positive. The systems and software
performed well with no significant problems. In addition they were
well received by those who used them.
Results of this year's electoral pilots include:
* In South Tyneside, where all postal voting was used turnout was 55%
- compared with 27% last time;
* In Swindon 4,293 people voted on line via the council's website -
over 10% of those who voted. In addition over 2,000 voted via touch
telephone - representing 5% of those who voted;
* In the two pilot wards in Sheffield over 30% of those who voted did
so via electronically;
* St Albans announced the first e-voting and counting results of the
local elections just four minutes after the close of poll. In the
two wards piloting e-democracy over half those voting did so online
or by phone (26.5% used the internet and 23.9% the phone).
Local government minister Nick Raynsford said:
'I am delighted that early indications show that the public has
responded positively with thousands choosing to vote in a new, more
'The government is committed to modernising the way we vote - making
the process simpler, more accessible and more efficient while at the
same time maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the
system. That is why earlier this year we gave 30 councils permission
to pilot new and innovative ways of voting at the local and mayoral
'All postal voting in particular appears to have had a big impact -
for example Chorley's turnout was 61.47% - almost double previous
'This is the first time electronic voting and counting has been
piloted on this scale in Europe so I am particularly pleased that
these e-pilots have proved successful. Thousands of people took the
opportunity to use alternative methods of voting. This meant they
could vote securely when they wanted and where they wanted and shows
that e-voting can make a real difference.'
As part of the government's drive to make voting easier and modernise
the electoral process 30 councils were given approval to run
electoral pilots at this year's local and mayoral elections. These
included all postal ballots, voting electronically using mobile phone
text messaging and voting on-line from home, local libraries and
council run information kiosks.
Nick Raynsford added:
'We will learn from these pilots as we have from earlier ones and I
look forward to receiving a full evaluation report from the Electoral
Commission in due course. This will include analysis of public
confidence in the new voting methods as well as on their technical
robustness and will help inform how we extend the pilot programme at
future elections. However there can be no doubt that this marks a
major step forward in modernising our electoral system - particularly
in terms of postal and e-voting.'
Further information on the results of the electoral pilots will be
posted on the DTLR website when they become available.
1. Local authorities were invited to become pilots last October.
The successful pilots were announced in February .
A full list of all 30 electoral pilots is attached. For further
details please contact the relevant local authority.
2. The Electoral Commission will undertake an evaluation exercise
that will look at whether or not the pilots:
- Make voting more straightforward for the public;
- Make elections more accessible, either by making it more convenient
to vote or by making voting more attractive to people currently
less likely to vote;
- Make the administration of elections more efficient and cost
- Maintain or increase the level of security at elections.
A full evaluation report will be sent to the Secretary of State
within three months of the elections.
Local Elections 2002 - All Postal Electoral Pilots
Local Authority Previous Turnout Turnout May 2002
1. Chorley 32% 61.47%
2. Crawley 14% 34.32%
3. Gateshead 30% 57.3%
4. Greenwich (2 wards) n/a 25%
5. Hackney 34% 31.5%
6. Havering 37% 45%
7. Middlesborough 29% 41%*
8. North Tyneside 34% n/a*
9. NW Leicestershire
(1 Parish) 40% 34%
10. Preston (2 wards) 38% 16%
11. South Tyneside 27% 55%*
12. Stevenage 29% 52.9%
13. Trafford 33% 49% *
* Awaiting final validated figures.