The UK government is providing £3.5m to fund trials of internet, digital TV and SMS voting at 30 councils in this May's local elections.
Selected wards in St Albans, Crewe, Nantwich and Swindon will allow citizens to vote from their PCs at home, in local libraries and at council-run information kiosks.
Liverpool and Sheffield will trial text messaging and digital TV voting, while Camden, Wandsworth, Chester and Rugby will use electronic counting technology.
Corporate users will be watching the pilots closely as electronic voting could be used to cut the cost of annual general meetings, which usually require the physical attendance of a large number of people.
Confirming that more pilots will be added, local government minister Nick Raynsford said: "The pilots will be crucial in building public confidence and testing technical robustness to ensure that the integrity of the poll is maintained.
"We are particularly keen to engage younger voters and feel that these innovations will help. Our aim is to learn from these pilots so that we can confidently modernise our voting arrangements.
"We propose an ever more extensive programme of pilots at future local elections to open up the possibility of an e-enabled general election some time after 2006."
The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions is providing the £3.5m investment and is now discussing the allocation with the councils and IT suppliers.
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