The lack of resources at polling stations yesterday that prevented many UK citizens from voting is a sign that the country could benefit from an electronic voting system, according to analysts.
Voters were turned away from some polling stations because staff could not process their ballot papers before the 10pm deadline. Police were called in to several stations to deal with the queues.
Analysts have now suggested that the UK should introduce online voting so that a similar situation does not occur again.
Concerns remain that e-voting could be more costly to the taxpayer and could give rise to security issues, but many commentators argue that it is time to come to terms with such problems.
Ovum analyst Mike Davis went so far as to describe the current manual voting process as "nineteenth century".
"A 24-hour society requires 24-hour voting to meet the aspirations of the electorate, who now have an expectation of always-on and always-available," he said.
Davis argued that the voting system needs to reflect the reality that people no longer work around timetables set for them by organisations, whether public or private.
The analyst acknowledged that e-voting experiments in the UK have had mixed results, but insisted that technologies move on and should be tested again.
"The fact that many of us will trust our credit card details to the likes of eBay and Apple potentially illustrates a new opportunity for e-voting technology," he said.
Dharmesh Mistry, who piloted a multi-channel online voting system 10 years ago, believes that any technology concerns with an e-voting system are more easily overcome than the public's cultural affiliation to a manual voting process.
"People enjoy the ritual of physically attending the polling station. There might also be concerns about how robust such a system would be, and the potential fall-out if there was any kind of outage on election day," he said.
"However, the technology exists to build highly scalable and redundant web infrastructure to ensure that these kind of high-profile, public-facing sites meet requirements."
Mistry added that, although an online voting platform is a high-profile target for attack, "people should not be concerned about the election becoming compromised" if appropriate measures are put in place.
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