In a trial being held this weekend, U.K. voters for the first time will cast their ballots online. Voters in Sopwell and Verulam, two electoral wards in St. Albans, are taking part in the experiment during local elections. They will be able to vote online over the weekend even though the actual local election won't be held until May 2. In an attempt to prevent malpractice, every Sopwell and Verulam voter has been issued a unique "voter identification number" and will enter a personal identification number when placing their vote.
The trial is an attempt to test ways of voting electronically. Public participation in the electoral process is perceived to be declining, and advocates believe Internet voting could encourage more people to take part in the democratic process. The St. Alban's project is funded by the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, with the involvement of Oracle and British Telecommunications.
ZDNet U.K.'s Graeme Wearden reported from London.
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