Norfolk council trials new vote counting

IAN CLARKE A Norfolk council has been picked as a pilot area to trial new electronic scanning technology to count ballot papers at this May's local elections.Breckland will be one of six authorities nationwide using the new process.

IAN CLARKE

Testing of new electronic scanning technology to count ballot papers will take place at a Norfolk council during the May local elections.

Breckland will be one of six authorities nationwide using the new process.

The government is also trialling advance voting, voting using the internet or telephone and more convenient polling stations in other parts of the country.

Bridget Prentice, elections minister at the Department for Constitutional Affairs, said: "Not everyone can get to a polling station, so we need to introduce new ways to make it easier for people to exercise their right to vote."

Work to modernise elections began in 2000. Each pilot will be evaluated by the Electoral Commission, which will publish its findings by August next year.