While Americans (and the Dutch) are still trying to figure out exactly how to implement this "e-voting" thing without hackers exploiting them, people cracking them open (literally), and machines counting votes in triplicate, it looks like the Brits are disregarding all the red flags already waving and are giving it a go in select locations. New pilot schemes are slated to "help people vote more conveniently at the Local Government Elections in 13 local English authorities come May 2007," and while some areas simply get the option to vote in advance, Bedford, Breckland, Dover, South Bucks, Stratford-on-Avon District Council, and Warwick District Council will be graced with "electronic scanning technology to count ballot papers," while Rushmoor, Sheffield, Shrewsbury & Atcham, South Bucks, and Swindon will actually be able to "use the internet or telephone" to cast their vote if they so choose. The move is apparently tailored to fit the "more modern lifestyles" that most folks (mostly younger) are living, and officials hope that opening up the internet as a voting medium will convince chair-sitters to
get off their butts surf on over and vote. Whether or not some trickster finds a loophole in the web-based voting system (or changes his / her voice up on a couple call-ins) to sabotage everything for everyone remains to be seen, but the Electoral Commission should be publishing the "findings" from these trials this August before choosing to keep (or axe) said methods.