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Electoral Process

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Electoral modernisation pilots May 2007

We are running pilot schemes in the May 2007 local elections to test different ways of modernising the electoral system. The types of pilots include e-voting, e-counting, advance voting and signing for ballot papers in polling stations. The purpose of the pilots is to learn more about:

On 29 January 2007, thirteen local authorities were approved to take part in twelve electoral pilot schemes for the May 2007 local elections

Electoral modernisation pilots May 2006

Along with the Electoral Commission, the Association of Electoral Administrators and local authorities, we facilitated electoral modernisation pilot schemes in the May 2006 local elections. The types of pilots included e-voting, e-counting, early voting and mobile voting. The Electoral Commission published individual evaluations of the pilot schemes as well as six summary papers outlining their key findings in August 2006. The Government commented on the Electoral Commission's key findings in October 2006.

General election 2005: briefing information

This election briefing document has everything you need to know about the general election and covers the history of previous general elections, background briefing and vital statistics. It includes key topics such as the timetable for the general election, the electoral register, eligibility to vote, election petitions and postal voting. The document is available to download to review or print.

General Election 2001

'Procedures at a General Election' gives a useful overview on the rules, process and timetable that governs a United Kingdom National Parliamentary Election. More detailed guidance for officers conducting an election is in 'Guidance for Acting Returning Officers in England and Wales'.

This section also includes archive documents that were specific to the circumstances of the 2001 General Election.


Local and Regional Elections

We are responsible for how elections and local elections in England and Wales take place, including electoral registration and electoral modernisation. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is responsible for policy relating to when local elections are to be held and the constitutions of the councils being elected.

Other electoral responsibilities across the UK are:


Turnout at local elections research report

- Influences on levels of voter registration and voting
This report includes research about the relationship between electoral procedures and number of people who voted. It was published in May 2002 and covers research undertaken up until 2000. It was commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, however, the findings and recommendations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

Download the accessible version of the report by section

Modernising the electoral process

We are working to develop an electoral modernisation programme. This aims to deliver an e-enabled, multi-channel general election - giving people choice in the way they exercise their vote. To do this we are running pilots to test different ways of modernising the electoral system.

The e-Democracy website gives information about the government's policy for increasing participation in democracy via information and communication technologies.

Electoral Pilots

During and since the year 2000, some 100 local authorities have taken part in over 150 electoral pilot schemes which aim to modernise the electoral process. In addition, all-postal voting took place in four regions at the European Parliamentary and local elections in June 2004. The Electoral Commission is required to report on and evaluate each scheme and these can be found on their website.

Before the Electoral Commission was set up on 30 November 2000, 32 local authorities undertook electoral pilot schemes at the May 2000 local elections.

Types of pilot schemes
Evaluations for pilots schemes May 2000
Supporting documents

Who can take part in the pilots?

Under section 10 of the representation of the People Act 2000, local authorities in England and Wales may apply for permission to run electoral pilot schemes at particular local government elections. The Act gives the Secretary of State discretion, subject to prior consultation with the Electoral Commission, to approve such schemes. In Scotland, pilot schemes may be approved under Section 5 of the Scottish Local Government (Elections) Act 2002.

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