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Electronic Voting

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he has taken to produce a comprehensive plan for the general operation of e-voting. (233953)

The Government are considering what the appropriate next steps are in relation to e-voting, taking account, both of the reports published by the Electoral Commission and the recent consultation on Election day which sought views on other forms of voting.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans his Department has to commission further pilots of electronic voting kiosks at polling stations. (233954)

The Government have no plans to commission further pilots of electronic voting kiosks in polling stations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans his Department has to commission further pilots of electronic counting of ballot papers. (233956)

The Government have no plans to commission further pilots of electronic counting of ballot papers at this time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the costs and benefits of electronic counting of ballot papers taking into account the pilots carried out during the 2007 local government elections and the 2008 London Mayoral and London Assembly elections. (233957)

The Government have not yet conducted a full cost-benefit analysis for electronic counting. This is because the evidence base is still being informed by the results of pilots and other elections where e-counting is being used.

However, before any request to pilot received from a local authority is approved by Ministers, the Ministry of Justice carries out a value for money assessment, which includes an assessment of the expected costs and benefits. In addition, all pilots are evaluated by the Electoral Commission, which also considers value for money and whether realisation of expected benefits has been achieved, in its reports.

The Greater London assembly, as the body responsible for the conduct of the 2008 London Mayoral and London Assembly elections, are currently conducting a cost/benefit assessment of the use of e-counting at the 2008 election.