News

Online vote plan despite glitches

Nick Huber
The Government has set out plans for the UK to become the first country to allow its citizens to vote online in an ambitious shake-up to the parliamentary system.

Pilot schemes for local elections will begin in the spring and there is an outside chance that online voting could be in place for the next general election, Robin Cook, leader of the House of Commons said in an interview this week.

There are also plans to use the Internet for daily feedback on policy choices put before MPs.

The Internet blueprint, which is being headed by Cook, is seen by the Government as a way to combat political apathy among younger voters.

However, the plans for Web voting may be hampered by other delayed government IT projects.

Last month Computer Weekly revealed that plans for a national electoral register - which will underpin online voting - risked being seriously delayed due to confusion over the 1998 Data Protection Act.

Plans to create the UK's first national electoral register were thrown into disarray by a High Court ruling last November that the sale of electoral register information for commercial use breached data protection and human rights laws.

Local authorities have since suspended sales of their electoral registers and it could take up to a year before a national electoral register is in place, industry sources suggest.

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