The UK could be ready for full scale online elections by 2007, according to e-Envoy Andrew Pinder.
The local government elections in May will see 29 pilots under way, six on electronic voting.
But Pinder explained that necessary legal changes mean there will be no national e-voting until after the next general election.
He told vnunet.com: "To have a national e-election you would have to change the legislation. That's one reason why it is impossible to have an internet election before 2006, because you have to change the law and learn from the pilots.
"There will be some technical issues around the pilots and that will have to be sorted out, but I don't think that will be a real problem. The big issue is public confidence and whether they'll think it's all above board and fair.
"It's not the voting that's important. That's a service like any other service that can be delivered online. What's more important is how to get people involved in the political process and develop debate."
Adding that the UK is doing well in its mission to be the best place for ecommerce by the end of this year, Pinder stated: "My feeling is that we are doing well. On narrowband we are about the cheapest in the world.
"Big businesses are really taking to the internet while smaller companies are slower than we would like them to be and we are conscious that we need to work with them.
"We have better legislation than the US, and we have a better environment for mobile phones. On digital TV, despite its difficulties, we are better positioned for switching off [the analogue signal] than the US. If you look at the complex range [of indicators] we are in good stead."
The e-Envoy also insisted that the situation on broadband rollout had improved. "Broadband is an area where we have been pushing hard and we will come up on the inside rail on that one," he said.
"Germany has more broadband but they've done it by giving Deutsche Telekom a monopoly. We've not gone down that route because in the longer term it will give us a better price.
"I envy their results but not their methods, and they will pay for it because broadband prices are going up."
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