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Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what safeguards are being put in place to ensure that e-voting does not make it easier for dishonest individuals to abuse the system. [108953]

There is a range of measures in place to guard against abuse in the e-voting pilots. This includes the use of voter specific PIN numbers and passwords, real time electronic registers to cast and record votes and systems to prevent an electronic vote being cast where voter identification has been used previously. Should a voter find that a vote has already been cast in his name, he will be entitled to ask for a tendered ballot in the normal way. All pilot authorities are under a legal obligation to report instances of fraud to the Police and the Electoral Commission, the appropriate authorities to investigate alleged electoral abuse. The Commission will conduct a thorough post-election evaluation exercise looking at all aspects of the programme, including fraud and security, to consider what lessons need to be learnt for the future.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what is being done to maintain public confidence in the security and privacy of the electoral system in the introduction of further e-voting pilots in May. [108982]

All e-voting pilots will be subject to pre-election independent security checks and post-election surveys and evaluation, the results of which will be made available to participating authorities and the public. E-voting authorities are required to work closely with all stakeholders including the public to demonstrate how their arrangements do not enhance the opportunity for fraud or undermine the secrecy and security of the poll. This includes use of public testing demonstrations and voter awareness programmes to gauge opinion and instil public confidence.