Friday, April 30, 2010

Angus Reid Introduces Real Ballot in UK General Election | Earth Times News

Angus Reid Introduces Real Ballot in UK General Election | Earth Times News:

Angus Reid Public Opinion, the public affairs practice of Vision Critical, has made history with Real Ballot™ - the first online national voting intention survey that shows respondents each one of the candidates who are running in their constituency.

The Real Ballot poll, conducted for The Economist, allows voters in Great Britain to select their preference using an electronic ballot that mirrors the one they will actually cast on election day. Real Ballot eliminates the possibility of voters supporting parties that did not register a candidate in their constituency, and enables respondents to be aware of all of the contenders who stand to represent them in Westminster.

"A General Election is not a contest between three leaders or three parties," says CEO Angus Reid. "Real Ballot allows us to provide a more accurate assessment of the way the electorate in Great Britain feels at a local level."

Real Ballot, which enabled Angus Reid to offer the most accurate prediction of last year's election in the Canadian province of British Columbia, will also be implemented for the final pre-election survey that will be conducted before the 6 May General Election in the United Kingdom. --->>>

CTV Toronto - What will it take to get you to vote? - CTV News

CTV Toronto - What will it take to get you to vote? - CTV News:

So what will it take to get the masses interested in the one level of government that actually has the most impact on their daily lives?

That's the question Toronto activist Dave Meslin and a group of advocates have asked at town hall meetings across the city this month, including one in dowtown Toronto and Etobicoke this past week.

The group, which call themselves Better Ballots, has put together a list of 14 options for the public to consider, all of which are aimed at getting voters interested in municipal politics. --->>>

Bristol Labour candidate Kerry McCarthy could face criminal charges over Twitter post

Bristol Labour candidate Kerry McCarthy could face criminal charges over Twitter post:

A Labour candidate defending one of the party's safest seats in Bristol could face criminal charges after breaking electoral law by revealing postal voting results on internet site Twitter. --->>>

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Councils encouraged to open election data | Kable

Councils encouraged to open election data | Kable:

The Local Government Association and Socitm are calling for local authorities to publish election information and results in an open format.

The two organisations said the Open Local Election Data Project, which has been developed as a guide for council web managers and developers, has been launched partly because there is no freely available national database of local election results. --->>>

Cobourg held up as pioneer in accessible voting - Northumberland Today - Ontario, CA

Cobourg held up as pioneer in accessible voting - Northumberland Today - Ontario, CA:

Willowdale MPP David Zimmer is holding up the Town of Cobourg as an example to emulate, as debate goes on at Queen's Park over updates to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Zimmer was concerned specifically with voting technology.

'As far back as 2006, the Town of Cobourg, Ontario let its residents vote by telephone or over the Internet, as an alternative to the traditional paper ballot, if they wished,' he pointed out. --- >>>

Brits bemoan lack of e-voting for General Election - Pocket-lint

Brits bemoan lack of e-voting for General Election - Pocket-lint:

The 2010 E-Politics Online Study, carried out by polling-specialist YouGov at Virgin Media Business' bequest, saw that 43 per cent of voters would use an e-voting system, a rise of 24 per cent since the last General Election in 2005. And, with experts predicting that the poll could suffer from one of the lowest turnouts in modern times, it seems like the absence of a digitised ballot card system could be a huge mistake. ...>>>

Support for online voting soars ahead of UK Election — Today's Top Stories

Support for online voting soars ahead of UK Election — Today's Top Stories:

More than two in five of British internet users say e-voting would make them more likely to back a candidate at next week’s General Election, double the support for it in 2005, according to new research. ... >>>

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Voting tools - a new Dutch export | Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Voting tools - a new Dutch export | Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

"Two internet voting tools invented and developed here in the Netherlands are changing the way people vote. One of these tools, the Electoral Compass (Kieskompas), goes online today for the 9 June Dutch parliamentary election. Its competitor, the Vote Match (Stemwijzer), will go up next week." ... >>>

Philippines - DFA: Over 72,000 Overseas Absentee Voters Cast Ballots

DFA: Over 72,000 Overseas Absentee Voters Cast Ballots:

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that over 72,000 Filipinos overseas absentee voters already cast their ballots in the various Philippine Embassies and Consulates General worldwide.

According to the DFA Overseas Absentee Voting Secretariat (DFA-OAVS) that as of yesterday, 72,034 registered overseas voters have cast their ballots.

Majority of the voters were in Hong Kong, with 21,459 ballots; Riyadh, with 5,897 voters; and Singapore, with 4,199 ballots. ... >>>

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Harper Government Introduces the Increasing Voter Participation Act | Markets | News Releases | CCN | Canadian Business Online

Harper Government Introduces the Increasing Voter Participation Act | Markets | News Releases | CCN | Canadian Business Online:

OTTAWA (Marketwire) - The Hon. Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), today with the Hon. Josee Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie, moved ahead with the Government of Canada's 2010 Throne Speech commitment to increase voter participation by giving Canadians more chances to vote during federal elections.

'Increasing the number of advance polling days means giving Canadians more opportunities to vote and will help to increase voter participation,' said Minister Fletcher. 'That is why our Government is improving Canada's democracy by adding two additional voting days for voters.' ... >>>

Monday, April 26, 2010

Switzerland - Canton Bern agrees to e-voting for expats

Swiss abroad who are registered as voters from canton Bern will soon be able to cast their ballot electronically. - swissinfo:

Under an agreement signed on Friday, canton Bern will from 2012 use canton Geneva’s electronic voting platform, which is already being shared by canton Basel City.

In Switzerland, cantons Geneva, Neuch√Ętel and Zurich have electronic systems of their own. The federal authorities have recommended other cantons use one of these three platforms as electronic voting develops in the country. ... >>>

Ireland - We're stuck with 25-year e-voting storage deal - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

We're stuck with 25-year e-voting storage deal - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie:

THE Government is unable to break 25-year storage contracts for the country's abandoned e-voting machines, Environment Minister John Gormley said last night.

The revelation came as it emerged the storage cost for the machines was €180,000 last year -- with no sign yet of desperate efforts by the Government to off-load the idle machines being successful.

That means the taxpayer faces a future bill of more than €3.5m for storing the machines in various facilities. ... >>>

News Agency 24.kg - Transparency International suggests e-voting and voting papers with chips

eng.24.kg:

Transparency International suggests the new authorities of Kyrgyzstan to implement e-voting and voting papers with chips, as organization reports.

Members of the international NGO thins that new technologies can prevent influence on election results by administrative resource, crime and religious extremist groups and other external forces. ... >>>

Nigeria - Naira.com deploys e-Voting application for CIPM

Naira.com deploys e-Voting application for CIPM:

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria has launched an electronic voting application developed by Naira.com, a subsidiary of one of Nigeria’s leading Information and Communication Technology (ICT) firm, Chams Plc. ... >>>

Thursday, April 22, 2010

PR-CANADA.net - Election Website Votomatic.co.uk Launched Today

PR-CANADA.net - Election Website Votomatic.co.uk Launched Today:

The aim of the votomatic.co.uk is to present the policies of the three main political parties to the general public in an interactive and accessible way, but there is a twist. Rather than simply outline various policies, votomatic.co.uk will offer voters an opportunity to assess the parties' policies free from preconceived bias.

Votomatic.co.uk users will be presented with 3 policy statements on 13 topics and asked to select which one they agree with. However they will not know which policy belongs to which party until the end of the survey.

...cont'd ...

Electronic voting on the rise: YourOttawaRegion Article:

Electronic voting on the rise:YourOttawaRegion Article

Forget about the old paper ballot. Several Renfrew County municipalities are making the move to electronic voting for the October 2010 municipal election.

Renfrew may also make the move, but town clerk Kim Bulmer is still weighing the pros and cons of converting to electronic voting, which means voting entirely on the Internet or by telephone.

Stephen Beamish of Dartmouth-based Intelivote, which offers alternative voting solutions in Canada and internationally, addressed town council Monday night. It was the second time he has spoken to some council members and staff, but all council members seemed impressed by the security features and the user-friendly method of voting.

...cont'd ...

Vote by Mail: Elections Exclusively by Mail are a Terrible Idea | The Heritage Foundation

Vote by Mail: Elections Exclusively by Mail are a Terrible Idea | The Heritage Foundation:

Abstract: Trading the security, integrity, and shared experience of the in-person election process for all-mail elections is a bad idea for a number of reasons. An exam­ination of voter fraud cases over the past two decades reveals that ballots requested and sent through the mail are vote thieves’ tool of choice. Despite claims that voting by mail will increase voter turnout, the evidence leads to the exact opposite conclusion. Such elections, while possi­bly less expensive for election administrators, can be more expensive for candidates, thereby increasing the costs of campaigns for ordinary citizens who want to run for office. Mail elections put voters at the mercy of the postal service: If their ballots are delayed or misdirected, their votes will not count. Also, voters could be casting their ballots without the same access to timely informa­tion about candidates. Finally, elections conducted through the mail destroy the communal act of voting in a way that is damaging to America’s voting traditions and the inculcation of civic virtues.

article

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scenes from Sudan - The Big Picture - Boston.com

Scenes from Sudan - The Big Picture - Boston.com:

Residents of the African nation of Sudan recently cast votes in the first national election in over 20 years. Official results are still forthcoming, but early indications show that President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is set to win a landslide victory. Opposition parties are threatening to boycott the results, as a statement from the U.S. White House described the election as plagued by 'serious irregularities'. Sudan remains a country with serious problems from conflict in Darfur and ongoing humanitarian crises in refugee camps and several drought-stricken regions. The election is also seen as prelude to another upcoming vote: a referendum of independence for Southern Sudan in 2011 that could create a new African nation. Collected here are recent photos from Sudan. (38 photos total)

Microsoft campaigns against Google with politically-focused online voting tool | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times

Microsoft campaigns against Google with politically-focused online voting tool | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times:

The new TownHall software lets politicians host a website for posing questions to constituents and letting them vote on those topics. Users can create accounts and submit their own questions.

see article ...

SMS Voting: the Antidote to Voter Apathy? - RCR Wireless News

SMS Voting: the Antidote to Voter Apathy? - RCR Wireless News:

Tallying the text vote

Safer Swiping While Voting And Globetrotting

Safer Swiping While Voting And Globetrotting:

A new study from Prof. Avishai Wool of Tel Aviv University's School of Electrical Engineering finds serious security drawbacks in chips that are being embedded in credit, debit and 'smart' cards. The vulnerabilities of this electronic approach — and the vulnerability of the private information contained in the chips — are becoming more acute. Using simple devices constructed from $20 disposable cameras and copper cooking-gas pipes, Prof. Wool and his students Yossi Oren and Dvir Schirman have demonstrated how easily the cards' radio frequency (RF) signals can be disrupted. The work will be presented at the IEEE RFID conference in Orlando, FL, this month.

full article ...

Volcano May Foil Some U.K. Voters - WSJ.com

Volcano May Foil Some U.K. Voters - WSJ.com:

The Icelandic volcano ash cloud is toying with the efforts of some British voters hoping to cast a ballot in the May 6 general election.

Tuesday was the deadline both to register to vote and to apply to vote by mail. That means some travelers stranded overseas lost their opportunity to register. The situation brightened Tuesday, after Britain's government said some U.K. airports would reopen that evening.

Because of the disruption, some may not receive their absentee ballots in time or won't be able to return them. People who applied for absentee ballots, or 'postal votes' before the volcano erupted likely have already had their ballots sent to them, and could have already returned them. Those who waited—either to apply or return their ballots—now have to keep their fingers crossed.

more ...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Vulnerabilities With Proposed RFID E-Voting Initiative Identified by AlgoSec CTO | SYS-CON CANADA

Vulnerabilities With Proposed RFID E-Voting Initiative Identified by AlgoSec CTO | SYS-CON CANADA:

RESTON, VA -- (Marketwire) -- 04/20/10 -- Dr. Avishai Wool, co-founder and CTO of AlgoSec®, the leading provider of firewall operations and security risk management solutions, recently identified a number of vulnerabilities associated with a new RFID-based Israeli e-voting system.

more ...

Friday, April 16, 2010

West Virginia: Internet Voting New For 2010

West Virginia Headline News and Talk Radio:

Internet Voting New For 2010

West Virginia is the first state in the nation to offer Internet voting. Five counties were selected to be part of the pilot program offering overseas workers and absent military personnel the ability to cast their ballot on-line.

more ...

UN rejects defence of treaty vote - Surrey Leader

Surrey Leader - UN rejects defence of treaty vote:

The United Nations still has doubts about the way the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) treaty was reached, despite a Government of Canada assurance that $15,000 payments to some members were not made to buy support.

A just-released letter from the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva to the Canadian ambassador says the treaty vote "...may have been subject to processes that did not meet standards for fair elections, in particular in light of allegations of financial inducements and other non-transparent processes used to influence election outcomes."

CRED recommends that "...increased efforts be taken to ensure fair and transparent voting procedures and monitoring of a future vote on an agreement."

cont'd ...

Electoral council slams failings of Colombia election system

Electoral council slams failings of Colombia election system:

The President of the National Electoral Council, Marco Emilio Hincapie, says that Colombia's electoral system is falling apart, is too slow in counting votes and is no longer reliable, reports Caracol Radio.

'The system has sprung a leak, the system is unreliable, there are different instances of the manipulation of electoral information, the poor management of information, there is excessive manipulation of documents,' Hincapie said, citing his concerns over Colombia's congressional elections on March 14.

Hincapie urged that the Colombian government to implement an electronic voting system. He said he had proposed the idea to the government but had received no reply.

cont'd ...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Accessible Elections Urged For Disabled | View Magazine Online Edition

Accessible Elections Urged For Disabled | View Magazine Online Edition:

Eleven years after disability activists first called for fully accessible elections and three years after Ontario’s three main political parties called for an action plan to bring about fully accessible elections, MPPs are debating a bill that won’t get them any further ahead unless amendments are made.

cont'd ...

E-voting, panacea to election rigging in Nigeria — Senator: The Punch

The Punch:: E-voting, panacea to election rigging in Nigeria — Senator:

Senator representing Ekiti North, Mr. Ayo Arise, has said that electronic voting remains the antidote to election rigging in the country.

more ...

Ontario: Disabled voters get a boost | Toronto Sun

Disabled voters get a boost | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun:

A Liberal-dominated government committee has taken “baby steps” to improve access to the ballot box for the disabled but a fully accessible voting system still remains far out of reach, an activist says.

... full article ...

... In particular, while the committee seems willing to study telephone and Internet voting — as the Alliance is requesting — the members are still ready to go ahead with a bill that bans both forms of voting, he said.

“They may study it but it will still be illegal to actually deploy it unless we come back to the legislature and go through all of this to try to get amendments passed,” Lepofsky said.

Liberal MPP Greg Sorbara told the committee Wednesday the government may run afoul of the Charter of Rights if it brings in telephone or Internet voting for one group in society. “We decided early on, and it remains the government’s policy, that as a general matter we are not moving from a system of voting with polling places and paper ballots and attending at a polling place ... that we were not going to move towards electronic voting,” Sorbara said.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Qatar interested in Estonia's e-voting system :: The Baltic Course | Baltic States news & analytics

Qatar interested in Estonia's e-voting system :: The Baltic Course | Baltic States news & analytics:

A delegation from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Qatar is on a three-day visit to Tallinn in order to learn about e-developments in Estonia, in particular the e-voting project, writes LETA/Postimees Online.

The visitors have held working meetings with the National Elections Committee where they were given a comprehensive overview of the e-voting practices used in Estonia thus far.

more ...

Balkans.com Business News : Albania mulls on introduction of electronic voting for local elections, minister of state says

Balkans.com Business News : Albania mulls on introduction of electronic voting for local elections, minister of state says:

The Albanian government seems to consider seriously the idea to develop an electronic voting in the upcoming local elections, the Albanian Minister of State, Genc Pollo reported.

more ...

Forum looks at ‘why people aren’t voting’ - thestar.com

Forum looks at ‘why people aren’t voting’ - thestar.com:

Online voting, the party system, term limits, lowering the voting age — everything was on the table at Better Ballots’ first town hall meeting Tuesday night.

“We have to look at why people aren’t voting,” said Desmond Cole, a member of the Better Ballots’ working group.

About 25 people — including three municipal candidates — took part in the group’s first of four public forums to address the issue of electoral reform in Toronto’s municipal elections.

cont'd ...

Better Ballots

Better Ballots:

"Civic elections in Toronto are not meeting our expectations."

Better Ballots is a non-partisan dialogue, exploring options that could make Toronto’s elections more relevant, effective, fair and participatory.

We'll be hosting four Town Hall meetings across Toronto in April 2010, exploring fourteen options for voting reform. We will also provide materials and speakers to groups who want to host their own local info sessions. Stay connected, with our Newsletter!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Voting Technology Raises Fears in Philippines - NYTimes.com

New Voting Technology Raises Fears in Philippines - NYTimes.com:

MANILA — It might have been an innocent enough error: the ultraviolet ink in the bar code on millions of ballots for the May elections was not dense enough to be detected by the computers programmed to authenticate them. But when officials reported their discovery last month, conspiracy theories and predictions of vote fraud ran rampant, especially after the Commission on Elections said it would deactivate this security feature and supplement the computers with manually operated ultraviolet ink readers, the kind used to check for counterfeit bank notes.

cont'd ...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kenya kicks off e-voter registration

Kenya kicks off e-voter registration:

A new system to register voters electronically that will be carried out by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) starts Monday.

The ten-day electronic voter registration will take place in 18 selected Kenya constituencies and involves the capture of an individual's biometric features such as face recognition and fingerprint.

A special camera and thumb print reader will be required to carry out the registration, which will uniquely identify a person and thus eliminate cases of cheating.

more ...

Disabled voters snubbed - thestar.com

Disabled voters snubbed - thestar.com:

It is widely recognized that disabled Ontarians are poorly served when attempting to cast an election ballot. Barriers haven't yet been eliminated at many polling places, some of which feature multiple steps or doorways too narrow to accommodate a scooter.

As recently as the Toronto Centre by-election two months ago, one determined voter had to leave his wheelchair and grapple, with help, down a stairway to cast his ballot. Others struggled, too, to reach the ballot box at St. Joseph's College School. It's not known how many simply turned away.

This is frankly inexcusable.

Unfortunately, in Bill 231, a series of amendments to the Election Act now before the Legislature, the government ducks the accessibility issue. While stopping short of making it mandatory, the bill allows for possible deployment of "accessible voting equipment." However, the bill specifies that such gear must not be connected to any electronic network and must generate a paper ballot – features that seem to rule out alternatives such as voting by telephone, the same way that many people now do their banking.

more ...

eCanadaNow » Facebook Voter Registration

eCanadaNow » Facebook Voter Registration:

This past week, Facebook has announced that they have created a new Facebook applications which allows a user to register to vote. The new application is quite easy to use, and it is largely expected to increase the amount of young adult voters. This could also be the first step in online voting.

more ...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Election 2010: Why is everything digital except the voting system? - News - THE DRUM

Election 2010: Why is everything digital except the voting system? - News - THE DRUM:

With all of the bluster and insults being traded over the last few months, it seems incredible that the UK elections have only just been announced.

And, as usual, the system for voting will be the same as the one used since the democratic system was put in place; a person places their vote on a piece of paper and pops it into the box for counting.

cont'd ...

UK: Facebook joins in voter registration drive - politics.co.uk

Facebook joins in voter registration drive - politics.co.uk:

The social networking site, which has grown exponentially in the last five years has joined up with the electoral commission to launch a voter registration drive.

With only 11 days to go to the April 20th registration deadline, a new page has been created on Facebook's Democracy UK page from which the millions of UK users can download a personalised voter registration form.

And from Saturday, every user logging onto Facebook will be asked if they are registered to vote, before being directed to the Democracy UK page.

more ...

UK Electoral Commission and Facebook unite to get young people to vote | News | New Media Age

Electoral Commission and Facebook unite to get young people to vote | News | New Media Age:

The Electoral Commission is using Facebook to encourage 18-24-year-olds to register to vote in the General Election.

They have worked together to create an app that lets users download a personalised voter registration form to send to the Electoral Commission. The app will sit on Facebook’s dedicated election page, Democracy UK, which launched last month.

The Electoral Commission is hoping to encourage thousands of young people to register to vote and is promoting the page with a major campaign which on 10 April will serve every UK Facebook user an ad asking if they’re registered to vote.

more ...

British democracy: no better than Uzbekistan's | Craig Murray | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

British democracy: no better than Uzbekistan's | Craig Murray | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk:

Postal ballot-rigging, partisan officials, censorship of candidates … no independent observer could call our elections free and fair

comment by Craig Murray on the state of local government elections in Britain

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

N.B. gears up for fall vote - timestranscript.com - | BY GREG WESTON - Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada

timestranscript.com - N.B. gears up for fall vote | BY GREG WESTON - Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada:

The upcoming provincial election this fall will feature a number of firsts, but the option of voting electronically won't be one them.

Elections New Brunswick held its first training session for returning officers and clerks yesterday, the first in a series to help everything run smoothly on Sept. 27. It was the first of several during the coming months to make sure the 55 returning officers and 61 clerks from around the province will be prepared for the vote.

Michael Quinn, the chief electoral officer, says having the first scheduled election in New Brunswick makes everything more predictable, so they're not left at the whim of the government to organize staff, locations and other logistics on a month's notice.

...

Although having a fixed date will be a big change, Quinn says offering advanced options like electronic voting -- either online or with electronic voting machines -- won't be offered this time around.

"Electronic voting is still in its trial stages," he says.

"It's being looked at all across Canada, but it's not an immediate thing at all. I don't think that you'll see that in many Canadian jurisdictions for some years." ...

read full article

Troops' votes may not be counted - Defence Management

Troops' votes may not be counted - Defence Management:

The government has admitted that it may not be possible to process the votes of all troops serving in Afghanistan in time for the general election on 6 May.

During Question Time in the House of Lords, Conservative Lord Astor of Hever said that Justice Minister Michael Wills could offer 'no guarantee' that all of the votes from soldiers serving in Afghanistan would reach Britain in time to be counted. Lord Astor also said that 34,000 members of the armed forces were not registered to vote.

cont'd ...

India: Online voting for Gujarat civic polls this year - The Times of India

Online voting for Gujarat civic polls this year - The Times of India:

GANDHINAGAR: For the first time in the country, citizens could vote online for the civic
elections when Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) goes to polls later this year.

The State Election Commission (SEC), in consultation with the state government, has formed a task force to make e-voting or online voting a reality for the municipal corporation polls.

State election commissioner KC Kapoor heads the team. E-voting will become a reality in the AMC polls in mid-October, followed by municipal corporation polls in Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar in December.

cont'd ...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vote from home this fall? - The Sarnia Observer - Ontario, CA

Vote from home this fall? - The Sarnia Observer - Ontario, CA:

A company hoping to pitch its services to Sarnia says it could have online voting up and running in time for this fall's municipal election.

Intelivote Systems will bid to deliver online and phone polling if city council opts next week to investigate an alternative to traditional paper ballots, company president Dean Smith said.

cont'd ...

UK General election 2010: postal voting changes risk disenfranchisement - Telegraph

General election 2010: postal voting changes risk disenfranchisement - Telegraph:

Hundreds of thousands of postal voters might lose out in the election because of changes to the way people can register.

One in five people – 20 per cent of all voters - are expected to vote by post in this year's election, a record since postal voting became widespread in 2001.

However, new changes to crack down on voter fraud since the last general election in 2005 could disenfranchise more than 200,000 voters.

Under changes made law since the last election, anyone who votes by post now has to register their signature and date of birth.

They are sent a polling card, which they have to sign to validate their vote.

These new “personal identifiers” were used last year in the by-election for Glasgow North East - the seat of ex-Commons Speaker Michael Martin.

The Electoral Commission found that five per cent of all postal votes cast were found to be unsafe, because people’s signatures did not match or they gave the wrong date of birth.

Translated nationally this would mean that as many as 240,000 voters – one per cent of all those cast – could be discounted.

cont'd ...