Hiccup in march to online voting

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Hiccup in march to online voting

Nick Huber
A key e-government project risks falling victim to slippage, industry experts warned this week.

The UK's first national electoral register, which could allow online voting, was due to be in place by early next year.

The project aims to create a national database by connecting more than 400 local electoral register systems.

However, the contracts for the project have still to awarded and will only be signed before Christmas, Local Government Information House (LGIH) has confirmed.

Industry experts have warned that the suppliers face a formidable task if they are to link together more than 400 electoral register databases, often with incompatible systems, in a matter of weeks.

"There are about 20 suppliers for local authority electoral register systems and these are often incompatible," said Robert Barr, director of regional research at Manchester University, and a specialist in geographic information systems.

The creation of a national electoral register will be an even bigger undertaking than another linked local government project, the national land and property gazetteer project, he said.

"It's a big integration job," Barr added.

A spokesman for the Improvement and Development Agency, which owns LGIH, said the "core" of the national electoral register would be in place by early next year.

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