Electronic voting trials planned for next year’s U.K. local election may be scrapped following the government’s announcement to move local elections to the same day as European Parliamentary elections.
The success of this year’s trials — the largest ever with 1.4m voters given access to electronic voting systems — made it a sure bet the government would extend the experiment next year.
But to move the elections from 6 May to 10 June and introduce any electronic voting schemes, the government will have to face a barrage of primary legislation which may see e-voting postponed until rescheduling has been resolved.
Despite being championed as a huge success, e-voting has had less effect on increasing turnout than simple postal voting. Security concerns, technical difficulties and a lack of awareness about the schemes have all been blamed for poor responses, but such problems will only be resolved through further pilots which now look uncertain.
The government said the change reflected its “commitment to modernizing the electoral system” by making voting easier, as people will only be asked to vote once instead of twice.