May 30, 2008 | Mike Little

Open Rights Group welcomes commission e-voting recommendations

Embargoed until 0100 on 2 August 2007

The Open Rights Group (ORG) today extended a cautious welcome to recommendations made by the Electoral Commission for a pause in electoral pilots and a full public debate on the role technology might play in our electoral system.

ORG is satisfied that an Electoral Commission report, published today, confirms its own experience of the electoral pilots in England on 3 May.

But ORG expressed disappointment that the fundamental challenges in using computers for elections had not been fully recognised by the report.

Jason Kitcat, ORG's e-voting campaign coordinator, said "The Commission's report identifies serious failings in the arrangements of the 2007 pilots. The Government does not seem to be learning the lessons of previous pilots. We believe this technology is not appropriate for public elections, and now is the time for a public debate."

Jason Kitcat is available for interview. Please call +44 (0) 7956 886 508 or email jason at jasonkitcat dot com.

>>Notes to Editors<< The Open Rights Group (ORG) is a digital rights advocacy group based in the UK. It aims to increase awareness of digital rights issues and to preserve civil liberties in the digital age. It opposes the introduction of electronic voting into the UK's electoral system. Thanks to generous funding from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd, ORG coordinated a 25-strong volunteer team of officially accredited election observers to monitor the implementation of e-voting and e-counting in Bedford, Rushmoor, Sheffield, Shrewsbury, South Bucks, Stratford and Swindon. A full report into their findings, published on 20 June 2007, can be downloaded from http://www.openrightsgroup.org/e-voting-main/.

The Electoral Commission's official evaluation of the 3 May electoral pilots was published today, and is available on their website: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/