Thousands ready for digital democracy

NEARLY 8,000 people have opted to use new technology in next month's Ipswich Council elections.E-voting will allow people to cast their vote using text messaging, e-mail, a touch-tone phone, as well as the more traditional methods.

NEARLY 8,000 people have opted to use new technology in next month's Ipswich Council elections.

E-voting will allow people to cast their vote using text messaging, e-mail, a touch-tone phone, as well as the more traditional methods.

Although 18 other councils across the country are taking part in the experiment, Ipswich is carrying out the most extensive trial.

By Friday's deadline 7,985 people had signed up to use the new technology in the May 1 elections. "Where were the extra 15 people?" a council officer lamented.


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James Hehir, council chief executive and returning officer, said: "We are delighted with the number of people who have registered.

"It's too early to tell how it will affect turnout – it depends what happens on the day, but certainly I think that nearly 8,000 people can't be wrong and it's been well worth doing."

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He had originally hoped 4,000 would sign up, but the number has risen steadily.

Voters were given five weeks to sign up for the scheme, which was launched at the beginning of March with a blaze of publicity.

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