The UK Government must set up a national electronic register of voters if it is to succeed in making voting more appealing to the electorate, according to the Electoral Commission.
A national register would allow voters to use a polling station in any area, increasing the convenience for users.
"A national electronic register should be a key objective in the short to medium term," said the Commission in its report on the 30 trials of new voting channels in the May 2002 council elections.
Nine authorities tested different voting mechanisms using information and communications technology.
The Commission said that the hardware and software performed successfully and without any significant problems, but that an inefficient central procurement process meant that some projects were completed in a hurry.
Although people in the trials found electronic voting easy, convenient and quick to use, the Commission maintained that the evidence for improved turnout "remains unconvincing at this stage".
"Further piloting is clearly necessary to tease out a number of issues and to establish further the security of these voting mechanisms," the report stated.
The Commission explained that e-voting had raised concerns about security and fraud, but said that there was no evidence to suggest any increase in impersonation or any other electoral offences.
But it warned that new voting channels had to demonstrate their robustness and continue to develop improved security features.
The Commission indicated that new technology has the opportunity to increase security by improving the verification of identity before voting, and could enhance accessibility by providing online voting information in ethnic minority languages.
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