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Electoral reform whitepaper: What does the future hold for the UK electoral system? There have been a number of milestones in the UK's electoral history, and there are likely more to come. Covering canvass reform, electoral law, voting systems and where success has been achieved elsewhere, we take a look at the current UK electoral system and where reform might present challenges and opportunities in the future. 28/01/2020 Electoral reform whitepaper: What does the future hold for the UK electoral system? <p>It might sometimes seem that the UK’s elections system is a solid, age-old structure that has remained the same for generations. But our electoral system has never been cast in stone, and over the past two centuries there have been significant changes to the way we vote.</p> <p>Now, further reforms are being considered, including changes to the way that voters are registered, how their information is updated, and the laws that govern the delivery of elections.</p> <p>These topics form the basis of our <a href="https://bit.ly/3aNA6cr">latest whitepaper</a> which examines the problems that have been identified with the UK’s electoral system, the challenges these pose for the people who make elections happen and some ideas that might write further chapters in the UK’s continuing story of electoral reform.</p> <p>So, what can be expected? What should happen?</p> <p>Download the full whitepaper: <a href="https://bit.ly/3aNA6cr? What should happen? Download the full whitepaper: Electoral reform: A never-ending story?" title="Download whitepaper" data-anchor="? What should happen? Download the full whitepaper: Electoral reform: A never-ending story?"><em>Electoral reform: A never-ending story? </em></a></p> Idox Elections | whitepaper | electoral reform | voting |
Electoral calendars 2019-20 released New year, new calendar! Once again, we’re delighted to provide our ‘famous’ electoral calendars to busy teams across the UK. 28/01/2020 Electoral calendars 2019-20 released <p>New year, new calendar! Once again, we’re delighted to provide our ‘famous’ electoral calendars to busy teams across the UK.</p> <p>For the second year running, we’re making our calendars readily accessible in an easy-to-download format. So, with loads of essential data, why not print it out and put it on your wall, or make it your desktop?</p> <p>If you'd like to download, we have versions available for England &amp; Wales and Scotland. Simply visit our <a href="https://bit.ly/37A9Ika">calendar landing page</a> so you can access key electoral dates at a glance in no time.</p> <p>We’ll also be taking a number of printed copies along to this week’s AEA Annual Conference 2020. If you’re heading to Blackpool, head to Stands 13 &amp; 14 to speak to the team and pick up your copy!</p> <p><a href="https://bit.ly/37A9Ika">Click here to download</a></p> <p><a href="https://bit.ly/37A9Ika" title="Electoral Calendar 2019-20"><img style="width: 500px; height:355.9898045879354px;" src="/media/2198/electoral-calendar_england-and-wales.png?width=500&amp;height=355.9898045879354" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2af2c89a05684552ba6d41d8144a611c" /></a></p> elections | electoral calendar | Idox Elections |
See you in Birmingham? Join us at the Canvass Reform Focus Day The Idox Elections team will be heading to Birmingham next month to support the AEA Canvass Reform Focus Day – a must-attend event for electoral professionals, as they prepare for Canvass Reform 2020. 29/08/2019 See you in Birmingham? Join us at the Canvass Reform Focus Day <p>The Idox Elections team will be heading to Birmingham next month to support the AEA Canvass Reform Focus Day – a must-attend event for electoral professionals, as they prepare for Canvass Reform 2020.</p> <p>The Focus Day will give AEA members the opportunity to consider the changes, look at how best to prepare for them and think about how they will canvass from July next year, with the Cabinet Office funding a <strong>free place</strong> for each member organisation.</p> <p>Alongside the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.aea-elections.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/AEA-Website-Version-Canvass-Reform-Focus-Day-Agenda-v4.pdf" target="_blank">agenda</a> – packed with presentations and sessions from key figures within the sector – we’ll be on hand throughout the day, demonstrating our support, services and solutions and our commitment to customers, ahead of Canvass Reform. We’ll also be offering a copy of our new Canvass Reform 2020 Quick Reference Guide to all delegates – simply come along to Stand 6 in the Kings Suite to claim yours.</p> <p>The Focus Day will take place on 9 September at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. If you’re attending and would like to book a dedicated slot with the team, simply email <a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">elections.sales@idoxgroup.com</a></p> <p>We look forward to seeing you there!</p> idox elections | idox | canvass reform | ecanvass |
Innovative eCanvass service hits more than 1 million households for 2019 Since late June, we’ve been sending emails on behalf of our local authority customers to solicit and encourage responses to the annual canvass – a feature unique to Idox Elections. We’ve already emailed more than 1 million households this canvass (reaching over 1.3 million electors), surpassing the number of emails we sent for the entire canvass last year. 28/08/2019 Innovative eCanvass service hits more than 1 million households for 2019 <p>Since late June, we’ve been sending emails on behalf of our local authority customers to solicit and encourage responses to the annual canvass – a feature unique to Idox Elections. This innovative solution gives electors the most efficient way of responding to the canvass, which they do electronically through our <a href="/services/interactive-voter-response/">market-leading IVR platform</a>.</p> <p>We’ve already emailed more than <strong>1 million</strong> households this canvass (reaching over <strong>1.3</strong> million electors), surpassing the number of emails we sent for the entire canvass last year. This equates to over <strong>300 </strong>trees saved, not to mention the associated printing and postage cost savings for our customers.</p> <p>The largest number of emails sent from one customer was to over <strong>141,000</strong> households, covering <strong>195,342</strong> electors.</p> <p>For more information about our eCanvass service, please contact your account manager or <a href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">contact us here</a>.</p> <p>You might also be interested to read the <a rel="noopener" href="/media/1620/lewes_case_study-final.pdf" target="_blank">Lewes District Council eCanvass study</a>, where Electoral Services Lead, Kim Bryce talks about boosting canvass response rates and increasing electoral registrations through adoption of the service.</p> elections | idox elections | canvass | ecanvass |
Guiding customers to a complete canvass We now have all outbound and inbound canvass channels covered, allowing users of our software and services to reduce spending, and concentrate their team on engaging with their electorate. 27/06/2019 Guiding customers to a complete canvass <p>We know that for every canvass, our customers consider how to reduce costs, improve response rates, and maximise completeness and accuracy.</p> <p>We’re delighted to say that we now have all outbound and inbound canvass channels covered, allowing users of our software and services to reduce spending, and concentrate their team on engaging with their electorate.</p> <p>We’ve pulled together a <a href="https://bit.ly/2YgoAja">new infographic</a> showing how our IVR, Scanning Bureau and eCanvass services, coupled with our latest Tablet Canvassing app, combine to support a complete canvass. Download the infographic and read more about our solutions on <a href="https://bit.ly/2YgoAja">the dedicated webpage</a>.</p> <p>Alternatively, <a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">get in touch</a> with the team today to discuss any aspect of your canvass.</p> elections | democracy | canvass | canvassing | tablet canvassing | scanning bureau | IVR | ecanvass |
Idox Elections secures local election contracts across Norway Following a competitive tender process, Idox Elections is delighted to have been selected as the official supplier of election services and support for 27 Norwegian Municipalities in the country’s upcoming local elections. 26/06/2019 /media/2186/norway-flag.jpg Idox Elections secures local election contracts across Norway <p><br />Following a competitive tender process, Idox Elections is delighted to have been selected as the official supplier of election services and support for 27 Norwegian Municipalities in the country’s upcoming local elections.</p> <p>We have a strong track record <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.idoxgroup.com/archive/idox-delivers-parliamentary-election-success-across-norway/" target="_blank">delivering electoral solutions and services across Norway</a></span>, with previous experience spanning national and local election deliveries in 2013, 2015 and 2017. This year, the team has not only secured many returning customers, but also welcomed four new Municipalities on board, forming a combined electorate of over 1.2 million.</p> <p>Whilst the services provided vary for each Municipality, they typically include:</p> <ul> <li>Installation and testing of Valgdirektoratet’s (the Norwegian Election Directorate) election scanning software</li> <li>Provision of scanners and the hire of other hardware to support the entire election process</li> <li>On-site and telephone technical support during the testing, mock elections and election period</li> </ul> <p>Preparations are well underway for the 9<sup>th</sup> September election date and we are looking forward to working with our Norwegian customers once again – sentiments echoed by all of the returning sites, including the largest, Bergen kommune, who noted: “We had a very good experience working with Idox, and still appreciate the work completed and the top quality, on-site support”.</p> <p>For further information about our available support across the UK and Europe, please <a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">contact us today</a>.</p> elections | democracy | Norway | local elections |
Digital government - looking beyond Britain to learn from others Here we take an international view of digital transformation, looking for lessons that might be learned from cities and countries around the world that have been leading the way in making the most of digital technologies in society. 19/06/2019 Digital government - looking beyond Britain to learn from others <p><em>Guest blog from The Knowledge Exchange: <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.theknowledgeexchange.co.uk/blog/" target="_blank">http://www.theknowledgeexchange.co.uk/blog/</a> <br /> </em></p> <p>This week (w/c 17<sup>th</sup> June), the Knowledge Exchange blog is marking <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://digileaders.com/week/" target="_blank">Digital Leaders Week</a></span> with a look back at some of our digital-themed blog posts from the past, and focusing on more recent digital developments.</p> <p>Our blog has often taken an international view of digital transformation, looking for lessons that might be learned from cities and countries around the world that have been leading the way in making the most of digital technologies in society.</p> <p>Singapore is one country that has been blazing a trail in digital readiness, and in <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://theknowledgeexchangeblog.com/2015/10/26/egov-singapore-award-winning-leader-in-digital-government/" target="_blank">October 2015</a></span>, we reported on the city-state’s efforts to ensure that more and more government services could be delivered electronically.</p> <p>Among the earliest innovations was eCitizen – a first-stop portal for government information and services:</p> <p><em>“When the portal was first introduced it pioneered the concept of cross-agency, citizen-centric government services, where users transact with ‘one government’ (the ability to access several government services via the one website).”</em></p> <p>That was impressive enough, but, as the <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smartnation.sg/" target="_blank">Smart Nation</a></span> website explains, Singapore has continued to explore how digital innovation can improve citizens’ lives. From <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smartnation.sg/what-is-smart-nation/initiatives/Health/assistive-technology-and-robotics-in-healthcare" target="_blank">assistive technology and robotics in healthcare</a></span> and <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smartnation.sg/what-is-smart-nation/initiatives/Urban-Living/myenv-app" target="_blank">environmental news updates</a></span> to <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smartnation.sg/what-is-smart-nation/initiatives/Transport/autonomous-vehicles" target="_blank">autonomous vehicles</a></span> and <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smartnation.sg/what-is-smart-nation/initiatives/Digital-Government-Services/parents-gateway" target="_blank">an app linking parents and schools</a></span>, Singapore’s digital revolution is transforming the way its citizens live, work and play.</p> <p>Closer to home, Estonia has been leading the way on digital government. Our blog post from <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://theknowledgeexchangeblog.com/2015/08/26/e-estonia-leading-the-way-on-digital-government/" target="_blank">August 2015</a></span> reported on the country’s pioneering approach:</p> <p><em>“In Estonia, digital has become the norm, and most government services can now be completed online. They have managed to find a way of creating partnerships between the government, a very proactive ICT sector and the citizens of Estonia. As a result, the country of just 1.3 million people has become a leader in digital government.”</em></p> <p>The article went on to highlight some of the key elements in Estonia’s approach to digital government:</p> <ul> <li>An ID card (installed on a mobile phone), providing every citizen with secure and instant access to online services such as internet banking and public transport.</li> <li>A national register providing a single unique identifier for all citizens and residents in Estonia.</li> <li>Estonian government services, including verification of citizens’ identities, enabling them to vote in e-elections. Once a voter’s identity has been verified, the connecting digital signature is separated from the vote. This allows the vote to be anonymous.</li> </ul> <p>In 2017, Wired magazine <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wired.co.uk/article/estonia-e-resident" target="_blank">called</a></span> Estonia “the most advanced digital society in the world.” And with good reason:</p> <p><em>“Estonians have complete control over their personal data. The portal you can access with your identity card gives you a log of everyone who has accessed it. If you see something you do not like – a doctor other than your own looking at your medical records, for instance – you can click to report it to the data ombudsman. A civil servant then has to justify the intrusion. Meanwhile, parliament is designed to be paperless: laws are even signed into effect with a digital signature on the president's tablet. And every draft law is available to the public to read online, at every stage of the legislative process; a complete breakdown of the substance and authorship of every change offers significant transparency over lobbying and potential corruption.”</em></p> <p>Our blog noted that there were lessons for the UK to be learned from the Estonian experience:</p> <p><em>“…it’s clear that when government, the private sector and citizens come together, it is possible to create a society that is digitally connected.”</em></p> <p><em><img style="width: 500px; height: 166.667px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/2185/dlweek-banner-landscape.png?width=500&amp;height=166.66666666666669" alt="Image: Digital Leaders" data-udi="umb://media/92e12b80b0cf498896102848857f490e" /></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Image: Digital Leaders</em></p> digital | digital democracy | elections | electoral services | digital transformation | local government | central government |
Making electoral history in Malta: How a landmark election broke records across the board Idox Elections and Scytl have successfully provided an Electronic Vote Counting Solution to the Electoral Commission of Malta, supporting the record-time delivery of poll results for the country’s European Parliament election. 07/06/2019 Making electoral history in Malta: How a landmark election broke records across the board <p>The Idox Elections team, in partnership with the Electoral Commission of Malta and Scytl, is delighted to confirm the successful delivery of the Maltese European Parliament election, making history by using an Electronic Vote Counting Solution to count the country’s ballots for the first time.</p> <p>Intended to accelerate Malta’s counting process, our <a href="/services/ecount">e-counting software</a> successfully reduced the counting time from days to hours, delivering the poll results in record time. This coincided with the largest electoral register for an MEP election in Malta’s history, with over 370,000 people eligible to vote, and over 270,000 exercising this right on polling day.</p> <p>Chief Electoral Commissioner of the Electoral Commission of Malta, Joseph Church commented:</p> <p><em>“The Electoral Commission is very satisfied with the well-organised and timely delivery of software, services and hardware for the simultaneous election of councillors across Malta’s 68 Localities for the Local Council Elections and the election of 6 MEPs across 13 Electoral Divisions for the European Parliament Election… The speed and accuracy of the [e-counting] solution was essentially evident throughout all four counting days, generating very positive feedback from a number of stakeholders, including the major political parties.”<br /> </em></p> <p>Following the e-counting software’s success, Joanne Campbell, Head of Elections Services at Idox Elections commented:</p> <p><em>“I am extremely proud of the efforts of the Idox team in Malta and their dedication to the successful delivery of this project. In partnership with the Electoral Commission and Scytl, we have worked incredibly hard to ensure the people of Malta have an electronic voting system that they can be proud of, and have complete trust in. </em></p> <p><em>“We are delighted to have been part of this historic moment and look forward to continuing to deliver the same electoral success in the years to come.”</em></p> <p>To read more about the work that went into delivering the software and election successfully, please view the <a href="https://bit.ly/2IlCARO">dedicated project page here</a> or <a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">contact us today</a>.</p> <p><img style="width: 226px; height: 218px;" src="/media/2134/20190527_035525.jpg?width=226&amp;height=218" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/072f69a42d004023b7355c63d38c5446" /></p> Malta | Electoral Commission of Malta | European Parliament Election | EPE | Local Council Elections | eCount | e-Counting |
Delivering democracy to millions: The 2019 Local and European Parliament elections by numbers To highlight the achievements of both the local and European Parliament elections, we’ve pulled together a collection of headline numbers, all of which can be viewed here. 31/05/2019 Delivering democracy to millions: The 2019 Local and European Parliament elections by numbers <p>Sunday night’s (26<sup>th</sup> May) European Parliament election count drew to a close this nationwide election season, marking another significant accomplishment for electoral teams across the UK.</p> <p>Working with our customers, we’ve seen first-hand how capably and efficiently such teams delivered the election that was never meant to be, despite the challenges of short notice, EC6s, the EU Information Exchange and, for many, the immediacy of delivering an election for the continent so soon after a local election. We know it’s no mean feat, which is why our latest blog covers <a rel="noopener" href="https://bit.ly/2JLH6fN" target="_blank">just five of the main challenges facing today’s electoral administrators</a>.</p> <p>As the dust begins to settle on the locals and the EPE, we’re proud to have supported our customers in delivering democracy to their electorates – from the provision of our EMS and Election Trainer to Print and PVMS. And, we know that following months of hard work and preparation, post-poll activities are now underway for most electoral administrators, in parallel with arrangements for the forthcoming canvass and the canvass reform data test.</p> <p><strong>To highlight the achievements of both the local and European Parliament elections, we’ve pulled together a collection of headline numbers, all of which <a rel="noopener" href="/media/2053/idox-elections_local-and-european-2019-election-delivery.pdf" target="_blank">can be viewed here</a>.</strong></p> <p>Once again, we express our admiration to everyone involved in delivering the May 2019 elections and thank all our customers who took the time to say ‘thank you’ to the team in return. Here are just some of the comments we’ve received:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>“A big thank you to all the Idox Elections team for your support over the busy and difficult last few months.” </em><strong>– Simon Copley, Democratic Services Manager, Ryedale District Council</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>“Thank you to all of the team for their assistance and at times patience over the two elections that we have had to endure.”</em><strong> – Louise Potter, Elections Manager, Sedgemoor District Council</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>“Thanks to the Idox Elections staff for all your help over the last few weeks.” </em>–<strong> Mhairi MacPherson, Dunbartonshire and Argyll &amp; Bute Valuation Joint Board</strong></p> elections | Electoral adminstrators | voting | Democracy |
Five key challenges facing electoral administrators today They’ve been called ‘the unsung heroes of democracy’, and in the past few years the UK’s electoral administrators have been facing unprecedented challenges that have placed enormous pressure on our voting system. Here, we take a look at just five... 30/05/2019 Five key challenges facing electoral administrators today <p>They’ve been called ‘the unsung heroes of democracy’, and in the past few years the UK’s electoral administrators have been facing unprecedented challenges that have placed enormous pressure on our voting system – multiple general and local elections, a new system of electoral registration, and referendums on Scottish independence and UK membership of the European Union to name but a few.</p> <p>Our customers often joke that they’re asked what they do all year round when elections aren’t being held. The reality is that the work of an electoral team is constant and ongoing – it isn’t just a case of turning up on polling day.</p> <p>Our latest blog covers just five of the major challenges facing the people who deliver democracy today. Can you guess what some of them are?</p> <p><a href="https://bit.ly/2JLH6fN" title="Five key challenges facing electoral administrators today"><strong>Read the article here</strong></a></p> idox elections | Electoral adminstrators | electoral challenges | voting | Democracy |
Transforming with technology: New Tablet Canvassing app launched We’re delighted to announce that the new Idox Elections tablet canvassing (TC) app has been launched on the App Store and Google Play. 01/04/2019 Transforming with technology: New Tablet Canvassing app launched <p>We’re delighted to announce that the new Idox Elections tablet canvassing (<strong>TC</strong>) app has been launched on the App Store and Google Play.</p> <p>This is the third iteration of our canvassing tablet solution, and includes all the lessons that we learnt from the previous two editions following insightful customer feedback and experience.</p> <p><strong>TC</strong> has all the best parts of its predecessors – not least cost savings, photo uploads, maximum security and embedded ITR functionality – but we’ve also added additional benefits:</p> <ul> <li><strong>TC</strong> is intuitive and usable, meaning fewer mistakes made and less training required.</li> <li>To the maximum extent possible, we’ve reduced clicks, swipes and typing required on <strong>TC</strong>, meaning that canvassers spend less time at each doorstep and visit more properties.</li> <li><strong>TC</strong> has an innovative and unique integrated house and elector view so canvassers minimise the visits needed to each house and help electoral teams in their objective of attaining register completeness and accuracy.</li> </ul> <p>If you’re interested in modernising your doorstep canvassing with <strong>TC</strong>, please <a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">contact the team today</a> for more information.</p> <p><img style="width: 322px; height: 221px;" src="/media/1664/tablet-2.png?width=322&amp;height=221" alt="Idox Elections: Tablet Canvassing" data-udi="umb://media/d1c73ac7902e43af93783a6c20fa5b24" />    <img style="width: 322px; height: 223px;" src="/media/1663/tablet-1.png?width=322&amp;height=223" alt="Idox Elections: Tablet Canvassing Screen" data-udi="umb://media/5f03d77b5b8346ab9251a63cff30d1aa" /></p> idox elections | elections | tablet | Tablet Canvassing | ITR | canvass | Canvassing |
Preparing our customers for the polls with Print and PVMS The Idox Elections team is delighted to report another busy year ahead, with contracts in place to deliver premium Print and Postal Vote Managed Services to customers across the UK. 19/02/2019 Preparing our customers for the polls with Print and PVMS <p>The Idox Elections team is delighted to report another busy year ahead, delivering <span><a href="/services/managed-print-service/">premium Print</a></span> and <span><a href="/solutions/postal-vote-checking/">Postal Vote Managed Services</a></span> (PVMS) to customers across the UK.</p> <p>Not only are we currently preparing our support for the English Local elections, we are also gearing up to deliver:</p> <ul> <li>Printing for the Community Council elections in Shetland;</li> <li>Managed services for <span><a href="/services/ecount/">eCount</a></span> and PVMS for two scheduled by-elections in Clackmannanshire and Edinburgh – as well as a managed eCount for this year’s European Parliament elections and Local Government elections in Malta;</li> <li>PVMS for a by-election in Birmingham; and</li> <li>All print materials required for Surrey Heath Borough Council’s Planning Referendum, which will run alongside their May elections.</li> </ul> <p>Our team is experienced in delivering outsourced managed services, overseeing the complexities of each process and ensuring our customers can run their elections with complete security and confidence.</p> <p>If you’d like to find out more about our Print, PVMS or eCount offerings, visit the <span><a href="/services/">Electoral Services page on our website</a></span>, or <a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us"><span>contact us today</span></a>.</p> Print | PVMS | Idox Elections | eCount | Local Elections | Parliamentary Elections | Postal Vote | Outsourced Services | Managed Services |
Idox Elections on tour: Back from being on the road 2019 has got off to a great start here at Idox Elections HQ. Not only have we hosted and supported six events in the last four weeks, we’ve managed to speak to hundreds of our customers and users, as well as industry experts, hearing first-hand the needs and challenges facing electoral teams this year. 12/02/2019 Idox Elections on tour: Back from being on the road <p>2019 has got off to a great start here at Idox Elections HQ!</p> <p>Not only have we hosted and supported six events in the last four weeks, we’ve managed to speak to hundreds of our customers and users, as well as industry experts, hearing first-hand the needs and challenges facing electoral teams this year.</p> <p>From the Solace Elections Conference in London to our very own customer regional events held in Glasgow, Birmingham, Cardiff and London, and finishing at the AEA Annual Conference in Brighton last week, the team has been documenting feedback and comments concerning the year ahead, and working with colleagues across the industry to improve democracy at all levels. It’s also been great to share some of our exciting plans and developments – not least in the areas of <a href="/solutions/tablet-canvassing/">tablet canvassing</a>, <a href="/services/scanning-bureau/">outsourced scanning</a>, <a href="/services/interactive-voter-response/">eCanvass</a> and Canvass Reform – to ensure our customers continue to receive the very best in electoral management software and services.</p> <p>The next few weeks will see the team focused on delivering some of the key developments in the Idox Elections roadmap, as well as ensuring our customers are all set for whatever lies ahead this year – planned or unplanned! Preparations are also now underway for our Summer User Group Meeting where we look forward to catching up with many familiar faces once again.</p> <p>If you would like more information about any of the sessions, topics or solutions covered at our recent events, please just <strong><a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">get in touch</a></strong>. The team are also on hand to answer any questions or queries you might have.</p> <p><img style="width: 209px; height: 157px;" src="/media/1639/glasgow-1.jpg?width=209&amp;height=157" alt="Idox Elections: Glasgow Customer Regional Event" data-udi="umb://media/bc9e97636a9b42fb9fda293ae6262bbb" />  <img style="width: 209px; height: 157px;" src="/media/1653/london-1.jpg?width=209&amp;height=157" alt="Idox Elections: London Customer Regional Event" data-udi="umb://media/4adb7e12a1a34e1bb0e0ec3a52c38d82" />  <img style="width: 219px; height: 157px;" src="/media/1665/idox-005_sm.jpg?width=219&amp;height=157" alt="Idox Elections: AEA Annual Conference Team" data-udi="umb://media/f94df1af12e5450dad1f7982eaf7a870" />  </p> <p><img style="width: 207px; height: 155px;" src="/media/1669/img_2707.jpg?width=207&amp;height=155" alt="Idox Elections: AEA Annual Conference 2019" data-udi="umb://media/829c3f8019ef442291bf95954f7c6102" />  <img style="width: 208px; height: 156px;" src="/media/1636/birmingham-2.jpg?width=0&amp;height=0" alt="Idox Elections: Birmingham Customer Regional Event" data-udi="umb://media/4b10f727efef458980918ce33303ce28" />  <img style="width: 208px; height: 157px;" src="/media/1666/img_1513.jpg?width=208&amp;height=157" alt="Idox Elections: AEA Annual Conference 2019" data-udi="umb://media/e241dc0f06334e389487e1804751fdb6" />  </p> idox elections | elections | events | Tablet Canvassing | Canvass | Scanning service | AEA | Solace | UGM |
Lessons from America: Ideas and caveats from the US midterm elections In January 2019, a new session of the United States Congress met for the first time since November 2018’s midterm elections. Beyond the impact on American politics, the 2018 vote shone a light on the management of elections in the US, with a particular focus on registration and voting issues arising on election day. Taking a closer look, can the midterms provide any lessons for the UK voting system? 08/01/2019 /media/1633/capitol-building_unsplash.jpg Lessons from America: Ideas and caveats from the US midterm elections <p>This month (January 2019), a new session of the United States Congress met for the first time since last November’s midterm elections. The election results brought mixed fortunes for the country’s main political parties – although the Republicans retained control of the US Senate, the Democrats gained the seats they needed to take control of the House of Representatives. </p> <p>Beyond the impact on American politics, the 2018 vote shone a light on the management of elections in the US, with a particular focus on registration and voting issues arising on election day.</p> <p>Taking a closer look, can the midterms provide any lessons for the UK voting system?</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Voter Registration</strong></span></p> <p>Electoral registration is an important and often highly-sensitive issue. The validity of elections depends on ensuring a high turnout, which means encouraging all eligible voters to ensure their names are on the electoral register.</p> <p>In the United States, electoral registration is complicated – each of the fifty states has its own registration rules, processes, and deadlines. <a href="https://www.brennancenter.org/">The Brennan Center for Justice</a> at the New York School of Law has described the US voter registration system as ‘broken’, and ‘a chief cause of long lines and election day chaos’.</p> <p>During the run-up to the midterm elections, many states reported record numbers of voter registrations, reflecting intense media attention and the widely-held view that the midterms represented a referendum on the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency. On <a href="https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/">national voter registration day</a> alone, 865,000 people registered to vote, compared to the 154,500 people who had registered in 2014.</p> <p>However, concerns have been raised that some states have been making it harder for US citizens to register, particularly among African-Americans, Hispanics and other marginalised groups. A report in <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/23/us/politics/voting-rights-alabama.html">The New York Times</a> highlighted attempts in Alabama and several other states to require proof of citizenship before granting the right to register to vote in state and local elections. There were also <a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/democracy/reports/2018/11/20/461296/voter-suppression-2018-midterm-elections/">reports</a> that strict voter registration requirements had disproportionately disadvantaged students in New Hampshire, that poorly labelled forms prevented more than 300,000 voters in Arizona from updating their voter registration information, and that manipulation of voter rolls had been taking place in Georgia and Ohio.</p> <p>One possible way of overcoming these problems is automatic voter registration (AVR). The Brennan Center for Justice reports that fifteen states and the District of Columbia have approved AVR, and <a href="https://www.dmv.org/articles/automatic-voter-registration-at-dmv-a-go-in-nevada">more states</a> are expected to join the list. The policy streamlines registration by making it opt-out instead of opt-in for eligible citizens who interact with government agencies. For example, under AVR, anyone issued with a driver’s licence has their details passed to the electoral registration authorities and they are then automatically registered to vote.</p> <p>The impact of this has been striking. Since Oregon became the first state in the US to implement AVR in 2016, voter registration rates have quadrupled, while in the first six months after AVR was implemented in Vermont in 2017, registration rates jumped by 62%.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Election Day Voting Issues</strong></span></p> <p>The record numbers registering to vote was a foretaste of the turnout for the midterm elections.  An estimated 114 million votes were cast by voters for the House of Representatives. This was a significant increase on the 83 million votes cast in 2014, and the first time a midterm election surpassed 100 million votes.</p> <p>However, the figure could have been higher. Across the US, there were reports of delays in polling stations opening, long queues of people waiting to vote and extensions to the scheduled closing times. In many cases, the problems were caused by technical issues and equipment failures due to the use of <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/voting-machines/575044/">ageing voting machines</a>. Unlike UK voters, for many years, Americans have been using a <a href="https://www.verifiedvoting.org/resources/voting-equipment/">variety of devices</a> to cast their votes, from punch card systems to touch-screen technology. However, in the most recent elections, 41 states used voting machines that were at least a decade old, and most existing systems are no longer manufactured.</p> <p>From broken ballot scanners in New York to machines changing votes in South Carolina and untested technology in Michigan, the technical difficulties heightened fears that <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-45680490">inadequate equipment</a> could undermine faith in democracy.</p> <p>Another election day issue concerned the requirement for voter ID. Ten US states require eligible citizens to present some form of government-issued identification before they can vote. But 11% of Americans don’t have the relevant ID and certain groups, such as those on low incomes and students, are even less likely to have the required documentation.</p> <p>The problem has been compounded by a <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23051808">2013 Supreme Court ruling</a> which struck down the 1965 Voting Rights Act introduced to protect minority voters. The 1965 Act required states to obtain permission from the federal government before changing voting laws. The 2013 ruling in effect struck down practices that helped make sure voting was fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent.</p> <p>Following the ruling, the state of Alabama enacted a strict voter ID law, which remained in force for the 2018 midterm elections. The state dismissed claims from civil rights groups that an estimated 118,000 potential voters lacked the necessary photo ID.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Lessons for the UK?</strong></span></p> <p><em><strong>Registration</strong></em></p> <p>In 2014, the UK government replaced household registration with <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/individual-electoral-registration">Individual Electoral Registration</a>. While the new system improved the accuracy of the register and helped to counter fraud, there are concerns that certain groups of voters – such as students, private renters and young adults –  might be <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/feb/24/million-voters-missing-roll-electoral-commission-students-block-individual-registration">falling off the electoral register</a>.</p> <p>The success of AVR in the US suggests that this method of registration can ensure that these and other groups don’t miss out on voting, for example because they’ve forgotten to register after moving home. The UK’s <a href="https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/campaigns/upgrading-our-democracy/voter-registration/">Electoral Commission</a> has advocated an automatic registration scheme similar to that in <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/17/oregon-motor-voter-law-drivers-electoral-rolls">Oregon</a>, where citizens can register to vote whenever they are in contact with government, from getting a driving licence to applying for benefits.</p> <p><em><strong>Voting technology</strong></em></p> <p>Much has been made of internet voting as a way of improving turnout at elections. Estonia has pioneered online voting for parliamentary elections, but only a few countries have followed its example. In the UK, pilot schemes involving internet voting have taken place at local level, but there are no plans to introduced online voting for national polls. However, e-counting (the electronic counting of ballot papers) is becoming increasingly prevalent in Europe. An e-counting solution developed by <a href="/services/ecount/">Idox</a> has been used successfully for elections in Scotland, Norway and Malta, resulting in considerable improvements in speed and accuracy of results. The problems caused by obsolete technology in the US elections underline the importance of ensuring the mechanics of elections systems are up to delivering transparent, fair democracy.</p> <p><em><strong>Voter ID</strong></em></p> <p>Concerns about election fraud has prompted the UK government to consider voter ID. During last year’s local elections, five areas in England <a href="http://new-elections.idoxgroup.com/archive/identity-politics-could-id-voting-be-here-to-stay/">piloted</a> identity checks at polling stations. While some saw the trials as successful, others argued that the fact that hundreds of voters were turned away because they did not have the relevant documentation proves the policy of voter ID is misguided. Further trials of voter ID have been proposed, but these are being <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/04/voter-id-trials-in-england-face-legal-challenge">challenged</a>. The American experiences of voter ID raises questions about the exclusion of citizens from exercising their democratic rights.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Final thoughts</strong></span></p> <p>Delivering transparent, fair and accessible elections is never straightforward, but the challenge is all the greater in one of the world’s biggest democracies. America’s midterm elections may have changed the landscape of the country’s politics, but they’ve also provided ideas and caveats to exercise the minds of electoral administrators on this side of the Atlantic.</p> <p>Time will tell what the future holds for the delivery of modern democracy both here in the UK and across the pond.</p> Idox Elections | Elections | United States of America | US | Voting | ID Voting | Midterms | US Voting | Voter Registration | Technology |
Electoral calendars 2018-19 released We're delighted to announce the publication of our downloadable 2018-19 electoral calendars for England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 20/12/2018 Electoral calendars 2018-19 released <p>Every year, we're delighted to provide electoral calendars to busy teams across the UK, covering key upcoming dates throughout the next 12 months. This year, for the first time, we're making our calendars readily accessible in an easy-to-download format.</p> <p>If you'd like to download any of our calendars – we have versions available for England &amp; Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – simply <a href="/resources/electoral-calendar/" title="Electoral Calendar landing page">visit our calendar landing page</a> and you'll receive an electronic version straight to your inbox so you can use it on your desktop, or print and put it up in your office in no time.</p> <p><strong><a href="/resources/electoral-calendar/">Click here to select an electoral calendar to download.</a></strong></p> elections | electoral calendar | idox elections |
Idox Elections talks technology in new paper considering the meaning of modern democracy As tech continues to play a leading role in driving efficiencies for local authorities across the country, how are electoral teams specifically embracing digital to overcome leaner budgets, changing voter expectations and expanding responsibilities? 07/12/2018 Idox Elections talks technology in new paper considering the meaning of modern democracy <p>Fair, transparent and accessible, elections have been the cornerstone of modern democracy for hundreds of years. But now, 'modern' means a different thing entirely.</p> <p>As tech continues to play a leading role in driving efficiencies for local authorities across the country, how are electoral teams specifically embracing digital to overcome leaner budgets, changing voter expectations and expanding responsibilities?</p> <p>These themes take the focus of the <strong><a href="/resources/whitepapers-blogs/e-elections-are-we-ready-to-digitise-democracy/" title="e:Elections: Are we ready to digitise democracy? whitepaper">latest whitepaper</a></strong> from William Quinton – Managing Director of Idox Elections – as he reviews the trends shaping elections both now and in the future, and explores how they are helping electoral teams work smarter amidst growing financial and resource pressures. </p> <p>Covering topics such as e-count and geospatial awareness technology, the article also discusses new innovations such as i-voting and biometric systems, as well as examining their adoption in elections overseas.</p> <p>Interested in reading more?</p> <p>Download the full whitepaper: <strong><a href="/resources/whitepapers-blogs/e-elections-are-we-ready-to-digitise-democracy/">e-Elections: Are we ready to digitise democracy?</a></strong></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 333.3333333333333px;" src="/media/1562/shutterstock_417566131-holding-tablet.jpg?width=500&amp;height=333.3333333333333" alt="e-Elections Whitepaper" data-udi="umb://media/ab65fbb40290476395b72957de6cf3b3" /></p> Democracy | Idox Elections | Elections | Digital | Technology | Digital Tech |
Welcome to the new face of Idox Elections We’re delighted to launch our new website – complete with a fresh look and the latest Idox Elections content. 06/12/2018 Welcome to the new face of Idox Elections <p>We’re delighted to launch our new website – complete with a fresh look and the latest Idox Elections content.</p> <p>If you didn’t know already, our portfolio spans the entire electoral management spectrum, giving our customers the software, services and support they need to deliver flawless elections.</p> <p>Want to find out more? Take a look at some of the new site sections:</p> <ul> <li><strong><a data-udi="umb://document/7b569cb970c24e42913434c36aa5084e" href="/solutions/" title="Solutions">Solutions</a> </strong>– efficient software solutions for every aspect of administering an election</li> <li><a data-udi="umb://document/193c3288637c419f988900e800f38776" href="/services/" title="Services"><strong>Services</strong></a> – designed to meet the expanding needs of busy electoral services teams, giving an expert hand in managing all registration and election needs</li> <li><a data-udi="umb://document/6ef4f53e71794a4f87f6e61b4303840f" href="/resources/" title="Resources"><strong>Resources</strong></a> – a library providing the latest sector insight, access to our customer forums and an opportunity to see what others are doing with our software and services</li> </ul> <p>You might also be interested in downloading our newly-released whitepaper – <a data-udi="umb://document/ef24d34410ec4797b7c46aec0218a701" href="/resources/whitepapers-blogs/e-elections-are-we-ready-to-digitise-democracy/" title="e-Elections: Are we ready to digitise democracy?">e-Elections: Are we ready to digitise democracy?</a> – which sees our Managing Director, William Quinton, look at the impact of technology on electoral teams, the new innovations being adopted by countries overseas, and how digital is shaping the future of modern democracy.</p> <p>We hope you enjoy the new site as much as we do!</p> website | elections | idox elections |
Electoral registrations spike with automated data mining solution Reviewing the success of customers so far in 2018, we’re delighted to report on the achievement of our data mining solution, which has led to a significant improvement in register completeness and accuracy for authorities using the technology. 29/11/2018 Electoral registrations spike with automated data mining solution <p>Reviewing the success of customers so far in 2018, we’re delighted to report on the achievement of our <a data-udi="umb://document/b5b32408a0124c63a3699184a5359039" href="/solutions/data-matching-mining/" title="Data Mining">data mining solution</a>, which has led to a significant improvement in register completeness and accuracy for authorities using the technology.</p> <p>Across all customers, figures show that users of the solution experienced an 80% increase in potential elector awareness – a result that was also achieved in a quick, hassle-free manner given the tool’s automated technologies and full EMS integration which avoids elector duplication and eliminates the need for time-consuming, costly chasing cycles.</p> <p>One customer managed to more than double its potential electorate, with another seeing its numbers almost treble. Figures also reveal that 49% more electors were subsequently added to the register following customer use of the data mining solution.</p> <p>For more information about how our <a data-udi="umb://document/b5b32408a0124c63a3699184a5359039" href="/solutions/data-matching-mining/" title="Data Mining">data mining module can help your elections team</a>, visit the website or <a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">email the team</a>.</p> Voter Registration | Data Mining | Elections | Electors |
Malta e-count elections on track for success with Idox After being selected to provide an Electronic Vote Counting Solution to the Electoral Commission of Malta, we’re delighted to report a number of early project successes and highlights, with preparations well underway for the country’s May 2019 elections. 15/11/2018 Malta e-count elections on track for success with Idox <p>After being selected to<span> </span><a href="/archive/electoral-commission-selects-idox-as-official-ecount-supplier-to-malta/">provide an Electronic Vote Counting Solution</a><span> </span>to the Electoral Commission of Malta, we’re delighted to report a number of early project successes and highlights, with preparations well underway for the country’s May 2019 elections.</p> <p>As part of a phased implementation and delivery, the Idox Elections team has already led a number of system trials with performance testing now completed ahead of a mock election scheduled for early December 2018<span>.</span></p> <p>Since the contract was awarded in November 2017, project milestones include:</p> <ul> <li>Over 40,000 General Election results successfully tested via Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR)</li> <li>Batches of 160,000, 220,000 and 390,000 ballot papers successfully bulk tested by the Idox eCount software</li> <li>More than 390,000 ballots scanned within expected timescales</li> <li>Ongoing, effective stakeholder engagement to ensure transparency and coordination</li> </ul> <p>The Maltese press have commended the innovative eCount software, acknowledging the speed and efficiency it brings to elections following a project briefing by the Idox Elections team and the Electoral Commission on 13 November 2018. In<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.tvm.com.mt/en/news/watch-no-more-waiting-for-official-electoral-results-will-be-known-on-same-day-of-counting/" target="_blank">this press video</a>, Chief Electoral Commissioner of the Electoral Commission of Malta, Joseph Church noted:</p> <p><em>“This digital system from Idox has been revolutionary for us as it has even changed the way our team thinks and plans given we never used an electronic system like this before. We are convinced that on the day we start the process of the counting of votes, we will have a confirmed result.”</em></p> <p>Commenting on the project highlights to date, Paul Beaney, Operations Director from Idox said:</p> <p><em>“Given the magnitude of our partnership with the Electoral Commission, we’re delighted with the progress made so far. Using our extensive experience of implementing state-of-the-art electronic counting software, we’ve been able to stay on the front foot and undertake comprehensive testing and system trials to ensure Malta, has an accurate, timely, transparent and effective eCount solution to support Parliamentary, General and Local elections from 2019 until 2024.”</em></p> <p>Our e-counting technology has already been<span> </span><a href="/archive/idox-delivers-local-elections-success-across-scotland/">used by all 32 Scottish local authorities</a><span> </span>to manage the same Single Transferable Vote (STV) method adopted in Malta – reducing the time it takes to count ballot papers and provide calculations from days to hours and minutes. Next month’s mock election in Malta will serve to further demonstrate the benefits of using such a digital solution to transform election delivery in the build up to the main event next May.</p> <p>For more information about eCount or our wider suite of end-to-end electoral management solutions, email the team:<span> </span><a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">elections.sales@idoxgroup.com</a></p>
Idox Elections marks sixth year of AEA elections support Idox Elections is delighted to confirm its backing of this year’s AEA Deputy Chairman elections, denoting the sixth consecutive year of support. 02/11/2018 Idox Elections marks sixth year of AEA elections support <p>Idox Elections is delighted to confirm its backing of this year’s AEA Deputy Chairman elections, denoting the sixth consecutive year of support. Providing a trusted, secure and convenient online voting service to AEA members across the country, we look forward to partnering with the AEA once again and using our leading <a data-udi="umb://document/3cce7332d3b246bc878003ea6e2c2886" href="/services/evote/" title="eVote">eVoting platform</a> to deliver successful elections for the 2018/19 Deputy Chairman ballot.</p> <p>If you’re interested in using this service for a forthcoming community council or BID election, or are interested in any of our other market-leading products and services, please get in touch at <a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">elections.sales@idoxgroup.com</a></p> idox elections | deputy chairman | evote | evoting | AEA | elections |
Strengthening our Print and PVMS support in Scotland with double contract win Following two recent invitations to quote for election services, we’ve been awarded contracts with Stirling Council and Moray Council to support the delivery of a specialist Print and Postal Vote Management Solution (PVMS) for the next four and five years respectively. 24/09/2018 /media/1551/ballot-paper.jpg Strengthening our Print and PVMS support in Scotland with double contract win <p>Following two recent invitations to quote for election services, we’ve been awarded contracts with Stirling Council and Moray Council to support the delivery of a specialist Print and Postal Vote Management Solution (PVMS) for the next four and five years respectively.</p> <p>With a combined electorate of over 160,000, both Councils will benefit from a fully-managed, end-to-end service including the production and delivery of ballot books and postal packs, as well as a PVMS which will support the scanning and verification of 100% of all returned postal votes.</p> <p>As the sole supplier, the partnerships will see the Idox Elections team provide expertise and support across a number of planned elections, as well as any unexpected elections that occur within the initial term, with extension options available.</p> <p>Are you interested in our Print and PVMS services? Please<span> </span><a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">contact the team</a><span> </span>to find out more.</p> Idox | Idox Elections | Stirling Council | Moray Council | Scotland | Electoral Services | PVMS |
Welcoming the new Boundary Review proposals The Government has published the Boundary Commissions’ final reports and recommendations for the new UK Parliamentary constituency boundaries this week (10 September), making them publicly available online. 12/09/2018 /media/1520/istock-607969272_boundary_changes_sm.png Welcoming the new Boundary Review proposals <p>The Government has published the Boundary Commissions’ final reports and recommendations for the new UK Parliamentary constituency boundaries this week (10 September), making them<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-boundary-commissions-boundary-review-2018" target="_blank">publicly available online.</a></p> <p>The four independent reports offer respective recommendations for each part of the UK, with the primary aim of making constituencies equal to ensure voting remains representative, despite fluctuations in population size. The 2018 Review is the seventh general review of constituency boundaries, succeeding the 2013 Review which was abandoned before completion due to disagreements within the Coalition Government.</p> <p>Although the proposals await the backing of MPs and peers, the UK could see the number of MPs cut from 650 to 600, including:</p> <ul> <li>England: 501 seats (down from 533)</li> <li>Scotland: 53 seats (down from 59)</li> <li>Wales: 29 seats (down from 40)</li> <li>Northern Ireland: 17 seats (down from 18)</li> </ul> <p>Commenting on the proposed changes, Idox Elections’ Managing Director, William Quinton said:</p> <p>“Pending parliamentary approval, these changes will come into effect for the next general election, currently scheduled for 2022; but the government has not yet timetabled parliamentary time, so the pressure is again likely to fall on electoral registration officers to meet the deadline.</p> <p>“We know that actioning any future boundary changes is a resource, cost and time-intensive undertaking, requiring significant planning and investment. Having developed and piloted our Atlas module earlier this year in anticipation of such changes, we look forward to supporting local authorities and valuation joint boards with a fully-automated solution that has already delivered lightning-quick boundary changes for localities of all shapes and sizes.”</p> <p>To find out more about Atlas – including the ‘Tale of Two Sites’ case study –<span> </span><a data-udi="umb://document/feb3429f4a3a4622ab5f7690ef80f8cc" href="/solutions/atlas-geospatial/" title="Atlas Geospatial">visit the dedicated product page</a>. Alternatively, please<span> </span><a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">contact the team</a><span> </span>to request a full demonstration.</p> idox | idox elections | boundary review | atlas |
Idox Elections partners with Hounslow to deliver specialist scanning service We're delighted to have worked in partnership with the London Borough of Hounslow and Hugh Symons Information Management to develop a remote electoral scanning service that supports the Council’s move to a paper-light electoral office. 24/08/2018 /media/1521/hugh-symons_scanners.jpg Idox Elections partners with Hounslow to deliver specialist scanning service <p>We're delighted to have worked in partnership with the London Borough of Hounslow and Hugh Symons Information Management to develop a remote electoral scanning service that supports the Council’s move to a paper-light electoral office.</p> <p>Fully secure and scalable, the Scanning Bureau enables the external scanning of all documents, with image files sent automatically to the Council’s electoral management system for processing.</p> <p>The service has already scanned more than 17,000 Household Enquiry Forms (HEFs) since its launch earlier this month (August 2018), releasing Hounslow of the time and labour-intensive tasks of manually opening, sorting and scanning each form inhouse.</p> <p>Kully Tumber, Electoral Services Manager at London Borough of Hounslow said: </p> <p><em>“We’re really pleased with the progress made by Idox Elections so far – 17,000 postal returns and we haven’t had to open a single envelope, scan in a single form, search for storage space or employ any temporary staff! It takes the Scanning Bureau only a matter of hours to open, sort and scan the forms, freeing up staff to deal with enquiries quickly and efficiently, providing a better customer experience to the residents of Hounslow.  Also, for the first time, all our canvassers will be using the Idox tablets, so we’re looking forward to making even more efficiency savings there”. </em><strong> </strong></p> <p>Chris Booth, Managing Director of Hugh Symons Information Management noted:  </p> <p><em>“Hugh Symons and Idox have a long history of collaborating to bring efficiencies to the public sector, and we’re delighted to work with the Idox Elections team to help Hounslow to do the same.”</em>  <strong> </strong></p> <p>William Quinton, Managing Director at Idox Elections commented: </p> <p><em>“Working in partnership with the elections team at the Borough and with colleagues at Hugh Symons, I am proud of the team developing the Scanning Bureau in just three weeks from inception to delivery. The Scanning Bureau is an excellent addition to any electoral team’s portfolio, and can be scaled to meet the needs of customers of all sizes.” </em></p> <p>The Scanning Bureau is ready for use by any Idox Elections customer throughout the year, including in the lead-up to elections. Please contact your Account Manager or<span> </span><a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">email the team</a><span> </span>for more information.</p> Idox | Idox elections | Hounslow | Scanning service | Hugh Symons | HEFs |
IVR proves its worth with 31% increase in responses Two months into supporting our customers with this year’s canvass, the Idox Elections team is delighted to announce that for Eroscustomers alone, it has already received 1.1 million Interactive Voter Response (IVR) replies. 23/08/2018 /media/1522/blog-16.jpeg IVR proves its worth with 31% increase in responses <p>Two months into supporting our customers with this year’s canvass, the Idox Elections team is delighted to announce that for<span> </span><strong><em>Eros </em></strong>customers alone, it has already received 1.1 million Interactive Voter Response (IVR) replies.</p> <p>Not only are we on track to exceed our 2 million+ response target, the number received and processed at this point also represents a 31% increase on last year’s numbers – demonstrating the best-in-industry interface of the Idox IVR – which, as we said it would be, is far better than the<span> </span><strong><em>Hera</em></strong><span> </span>service it replaced for this canvass.</p> <p>For more information about our IVR support to date and until the end of the canvass, simply<span> </span><a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">get in touch with the team</a><span> </span>today.</p> Idox | idox elections | IVR | Eros | Hera |
Idox Elections services confirmed on latest G-Cloud Framework Idox Elections is delighted to have its products and services featured on the G-Cloud 10 (G10) Framework, joining more than 140 Idox Software Limited services now spanning the three framework categories of Cloud Hosting, Cloud Software and Cloud Support. 18/07/2018 /media/1523/innovation.jpg Idox Elections services confirmed on latest G-Cloud Framework <p>Idox Elections is delighted to have its products and services featured on the G-Cloud 10 (G10) Framework, joining more than 140 Idox Software Limited services now spanning the three framework categories of Cloud Hosting, Cloud Software and Cloud Support.</p> <p>With more Idox services live on the Digital Marketplace than ever before, public sector organisations have quick and easy access to Idox Elections’ digital expertise, reinforcing our continued commitment to delivering tangible results through innovation, consultancy and software in line with the wider Idox group.</p> <p>The featured portfolio lists a number of our digital services, including:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Atlas Geospatial:<span> </span></strong>a system that eliminates the manual processes involved in completing boundary changes. The graphical approach of engaging visually and spatially on an interactive map reduces time-intensive processes and drives property database accuracy.</li> <li><strong>ePollMail:<span> </span></strong>a forward-thinking service that provides a modern and effective means of engaging with voters ahead of elections, increasing register accuracy and encouraging voter turnout.</li> <li><strong>Tablet Canvassing:<span> </span></strong>a solution designed to ensure doorstep canvassing is cost-effective, timely and professional. Offers offline capability and ability to synchronise data to the EMS, reducing data entry in the back office and maximising productivity.</li> </ul> <p>William Quinton, Managing Director of Idox Elections said: “Securing our status as a provider on the latest G-Cloud 10 Framework underlines our commitment to providing high-quality, results-driven electoral services to local authorities across the UK. With a range of end-to-end services designed to help councils prepare, undertake and manage elections, we’re excited to continue forging new partnerships and helping teams deliver modern democracy that is accurate, fair and transparent.”</p> <p>For further information about our suite of products and services available on the G10 Framework, please visit the dedicated page <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/g-cloud/search?page=1&amp;q=Idox+Software+Limited" target="_blank"><strong>here</strong></a> or contact<span> </span><a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">elections.sales@idoxgroup.com</a></p> idox | idox elections | G-Cloud 10 Framework | Cloud Hosting | Cloud Software | Cloud Support | Atlas Geospatial | ePollMail | Tablet Canvassing |
Northern Ireland takes electoral registration online with Idox Elections Citizens in Northern Ireland can now register to vote online thanks to the launch of a bespoke electoral system, specially designed for The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland (EONI). 21/06/2018 /media/1524/digital_democracy_voter_registration.jpg Northern Ireland takes electoral registration online with Idox Elections <p>Citizens in Northern Ireland can now register to vote online thanks to the launch of a bespoke electoral system, specially designed for The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland (EONI).</p> <p>Awarding a ten-year contract to Idox Elections which covers design, build, implementation and management of a new web-based electoral management system, EONI’s transition to online Individual Electoral Registration (IER) allows members of the public to register and update their details online, bringing Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK and modern voter expectations.</p> <p>As part of the process, Idox also supported EONI in transferring 1.2 million personal data records safely into the new system – a volume equating to the largest electoral roll in the UK.</p> <p>With the secure and fully-integrated digital platform now live, EONI will be able to manage its register and deliver parliamentary and local elections more efficiently than before, saving time and improving voter satisfaction, while driving cost savings.</p> <p>The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland’s CEO said: “This Idox system provides a vital new point of access for people in Northern Ireland in exercising their democratic rights.”</p> <p>Jim Smith, Head of Project Management at Idox commented:</p> <p>“Building a complex electoral system from scratch is a massive achievement, and has involved a great deal of hard work from both the EONI and Idox project teams. Seeing the new system live is incredibly satisfying for everyone involved and demonstrates how technology, expertise and collaboration combined can deliver a service specifically designed to serve and convenience today’s voters. We look forward to continuing to work closely with EONI as they deliver future elections using our digital solution.”</p> <p>From this week (18<sup>th</sup><span> </span>June), Northern Ireland residents are able to apply online to register to vote. For residents wishing to utilise the online voter registration service, please visit:<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote" target="_blank">https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote</a></p> <p>For more information about the new system, please email<span> </span><a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">elections.sales@idoxgroup.com</a></p> idox | idox elections | electoral online registration | EONI | Digital Democracy | Northern Ireland | IER |
Identity politics: Could ID voting be here to stay? With the exception of Northern Ireland, citizens voting in UK elections don’t usually need to verify that they are who they say they are. But in last month’s local elections, five areas in England piloted identity checks at polling stations. 14/06/2018 /media/1525/people-walking.jpg Identity politics: Could ID voting be here to stay? <p>With the exception of<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.eoni.org.uk/Electoral-Identity-Card/Electoral-Identity-Card-FAQs" target="_blank">Northern Ireland</a>, citizens voting in UK elections don’t usually need to verify that they are who they say they are. But in last month’s local elections, five areas in England piloted identity checks at polling stations.</p> <p>The trial followed a 2016 government-sponsored<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545416/eric_pickles_report_electoral_fraud.pdf" target="_blank">review<span> </span>of electoral fraud</a> which recommended ID checks to prevent vote stealing. Voters in Bromley, Gosport, Swindon, Watford and Woking were advised to bring a passport or driving licence to the polling station on May 3<sup>rd</sup>.</p> <p><strong>ID voting in practice</strong></p> <p>While most voters in the pilot areas had the correct documents, 340 did not and were not allowed to vote. A further 688 people were initially turned away, but later returned with the correct ID documents.</p> <p>Although the local authorities in the pilot areas ran awareness campaigns to highlight the changes, voters were surprised to find they needed ID to vote. One Bromley resident who was turned away at the polls told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/voter-id-trials-local-elections-2018-poor-why-stop-voting-bromley-polling-station-a8334961.html" target="_blank">The Independent</a><span> </span>he was shocked to be denied his vote because he did not have a bank card or passport. As a consequence, he decided not to return to the polling station with the correct ID:</p> <p><em>"I'm choosing not to vote, and I've never done that before. I think people who have problems with their ID will certainly be disenfranchised, even if they've lived here for many years.</em></p> <p>In Woking, Labour councillor Tahir Aziz<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.itv.com/news/2018-05-03/local-election-id-trial-preventing-people-from-voting/" target="_blank">said</a><span> </span>a man was turned away from voting because his form of ID – a Surrey County Council document with his picture on it – was not accepted.</p> <p><strong>A “great success” or a “mistaken policy”?</strong></p> <p>After the polls closed, the impact of the ID trials was assessed. Ray Morgan, the Returning Officer at Woking Borough Council, claimed the pilot was a great success, with 99.73% of voters providing the correct identification documents:</p> <p><em>“Following our recent experiences in the polling stations on May 3, I see no reason why bringing ID to vote cannot be embedded in our democratic process and have already expressed my desire to the Cabinet Office that Woking continues to participate in any future trials.”</em></p> <p>However, Cat Smith, shadow minister for voter engagement argued that the voter ID policy was misguided:</p> <p><em>“The Electoral Commission found that out of nearly 45 million votes cast in the local and General Election in 2017, there were only 28 cases of alleged voter fraud. That’s less than 0.00007% or one case for every 1.6 million votes cast. And out of those 28 cases, there was only one conviction. But instead of listening to the experts and the vast evidence base, the Government decided to implement a mistaken policy with the full knowledge that voters could be disenfranchised. The fact that voters were denied their right to vote is proof that voter ID has no place in our democracy.”</em></p> <p><em><br /></em><strong>ID for all?</strong></p> <p>Despite these criticisms, the UK Government is pleased with the trials, and seems intent on making voter ID a requirement for all UK elections: </p> <p><em>“The success of the voter ID pilots proves that this is a reasonable and proportionate measure to take and voters were fully aware of the changes on polling day. We will evaluate the pilots before announcing the next steps in delivering voter ID nationally."</em></p> <p>Around 11 million people in the UK – a quarter of the electorate – are believed to own neither a passport nor a driving licence. If voter ID becomes a more widespread requirement, it could be a significant barrier to many wishing to exercise their democratic right.<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/media-centre/press-releases/free-and-fair-franchise-at-risk-from-voter-id-plans-say-campaigners/" target="_blank">The Electoral Reform Society</a><span> </span>has gone further, suggesting that the ID trials appear to be a<span> </span><em>“calculated effort by the Government to make voting harder for some citizens</em>.”</p> <p>Earlier this month, senior barristers at a leading law firm in London<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018/jun/06/uks-voter-id-trial-in-local-elections-could-be-illegal-barristers" target="_blank">claimed</a><span> </span>that ministers had acted beyond the scope of the law in ordering the ID trials at the May elections. The barristers said that a section of the Representation of the People Act 2000 provides for changes to voting methods, but these should make voting easier:<span> </span><em>“Schemes that restrict or discourage voting, or that inhibit voters, are not within the meaning of the section.”</em></p> <p>The Cabinet Office disagrees with this view, and further trials will take place next year. It looks like ID voting is here to stay.</p> <p> </p> Idox | Idox Elections | ID Voting | Identity Checks | Polling Station | Cabinet Office | Wokingham BC |
Idox Elections lands in Lisbon for international electoral summit Last week, the Idox Elections team sponsored and attended the 16th International Electoral Affairs Symposium in Lisbon – an event that brought together more than 100 representatives from the electoral community, spanning over 50 countries. 05/06/2018 /media/1526/event-stand-2_cropped.png Idox Elections lands in Lisbon for international electoral summit <p>Last week, the Idox Elections team sponsored and attended the 16th International Electoral Affairs Symposium in Lisbon – an event that brought together more than 100 representatives from the electoral community, spanning over 50 countries.</p> <p>Hosted in partnership with The National Electoral Commission of Portugal (CNE), the four-day conference comprised a series of interactive presentations, workshops, round-table discussions and case studies, with input from senior electoral officials, academic experts and other global solution providers.</p> <p>It was an opportunity to network with the electoral community, share best practice and discuss the new technologies and strategies that will be pivotal in supporting successful elections in 2018 and beyond.</p> <p>William Quinton, Managing Director of Idox Elections, said of the symposium: “This was an ideal environment in which to talk to practitioners from around the world about how we can improve both their registration of electors and their running of elections, and also to hear about the sorts of problems being faced in different jurisdictions that can be solved using technology.”</p> <p>Having already been confirmed as the official provider of an electronic vote counting solution to the Electoral Commission of Malta from 2019, as well as in our continued support of the Norwegian parliamentary elections, the conference provided an ideal platform to share insight about the latest electoral technology and how it is supporting the delivery of inclusive, effective, and efficient voting across both the UK and overseas.</p> <p>To speak to one of the team about our end-to-end electoral software, please email <a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">elections.sales@idoxgroup.com</a></p> idox | Idox Elections | Lisbon | Electoral Summit | Electoral Commission of Malta | Norwegian Parliamentary Elections |
Print success for Idox Elections with contract hat-trick We're continuing our support of electoral teams across the UK, with a further three customers signing up to the Idox Elections print service offering. 17/05/2018 /media/1527/print_checking.png Print success for Idox Elections with contract hat-trick <p>We're continuing our support of electoral teams across the UK, with a further three customers signing up to the Idox Elections print service offering.</p> <p>The latest tender wins will see the team here work with Wolverhampton City Council, Craven District Council and the Tayside Procurement Consortium – covering Angus, Dundee City and Perth and Kinross Councils – to fulfil a range of print requirements and ensure a smooth, efficient voting process for the thousands of eligible voters in each locality.</p> <p>The partnerships will involve:</p> <ul> <li>Provision and distribution of postal packs and ballot books for Wolverhampton City Council for Local Elections, Parliamentary Elections, European Parliamentary elections and other Referenda until 2020;</li> <li>Print and distribution of ballot books, poll cards and postal voting packs for Craven District Council for all scheduled elections, and any that may be called on by Parliament, until 2021; and</li> <li>Print and distribution of ballot books, poll cards and postal packs for Tayside Procurement Consortium – serving a combined electorate of over 317,000 – until 2021.</li> </ul> <p>For Tayside specifically, the agreement will see Idox Elections also provide a <a data-udi="umb://document/a33eecfcfe6e4cc69b4e9b2a421a6a24" href="/services/postal-vote-managed-service/" title="Postal Vote Managed Service">Postal Voting Management System</a> to the Consortium.</p> <p>By outsourcing printing, local authorities are provided with a complete service that manages the complexities of the print process from consultation and design to printing and distribution. Added benefits include personalisation according to a council’s branding, as well as guaranteed reassurance that all electoral legislation has been adhered to.</p> <p>This latest success demonstrates our ability to support across the electoral spectrum, reducing local authority workload and delivering democracy in a cost-effective, efficient manner.</p> <p>For more information about print or any of our services, please email<span> </span><a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com" target="_parent">elections.sales@idoxgroup.com </a></p> Idox | Idox Elections | Print Service | Local Elections | Parliamentary Elections | Tayside Procurement Consortium | PVMS | Wolverhampton City Council | Craven District Council |
Idox Elections gears up for biggest ever User Group Meeting Preparations are well underway for the first combined Halarose and Strand user event, which will see the team here at Idox Elections host the biggest User Group Meeting and workshop to date. 20/04/2018 /media/1528/elections-image_regional-events_sm.png Idox Elections gears up for biggest ever User Group Meeting <p>Preparations are well underway for the first combined Halarose and Strand user event, which will see the team here at Idox Elections host the biggest User Group Meeting and workshop to date.</p> <p>Confirmed for the 5<sup>th</sup><span> </span>and 6<sup>th</sup><span> </span>July at the Park Regis in Birmingham, the event will provide all Idox Elections customers with new and exciting opportunities to network and share insights with other electoral administrators from across the country.</p> <p>The team are currently working hard to finalise a packed two-day agenda, ensuring delegates have the opportunity to hear about the latest industry innovations and exemplary case studies, as well as take part in roundtable discussions and hear from expert guest speakers.</p> <p>The format will cover the following:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Thursday, 5<sup>th</sup><span> </span>July</strong><span> </span>– Workshop comprising presentations, demonstrations and specialist guest speakers. A banquet meal and evening entertainment will also be available to all</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Friday, 6<sup>th</sup><span> </span>July</strong><span> </span>– UGM including roundtable discussions on topics affecting electoral teams UK-wide</li> </ul> <p>Want to join us? Places are available for Idox Elections customers to reserve now.</p> <ul> <li>To book your place, email<span> </span><a href="mailto:events@idoxgroup.com">events@idoxgroup.com</a><span> </span>for the official booking form.</li> <li>For any queries, please email the<span> </span><a href="mailto:events@idoxgroup.com">events team</a></li> </ul> <p>We hope to see you in July!</p> Idox | Idox Elections | User Group Meeting | Birmingham | Park Regis | Strand | Halarose |
Idox Elections delivers UK first with innovative ePollMail service We're delighted to continue to help local authorities bring assurance and efficiency to their elections by pioneering the use of electronic poll mail. 19/03/2018 /media/1529/vote-epollmail.jpg Idox Elections delivers UK first with innovative ePollMail service <p>We're delighted to continue to help local authorities bring assurance and efficiency to their elections by pioneering the use of electronic poll mail.</p> <p>In a UK first, almost 200,000 electronic poll mails were sent successfully to Birmingham City Council’s (BCC) electorate, providing an effective and modern means of engaging with voters ahead of the city’s May election. As such communications are not legislatively prescribed, electoral teams have greater flexibility over content. This gave BCC the ability to reassure voters about recent ward changes following a significant boundary overhaul across the city, reducing the likelihood of subsequent queries.</p> <p>By facilitating early contact with citizens before paper poll card distribution, the ePollMail service enables councils to verify voter details and confirm polling locations at the earliest opportunity, while also increasing register accuracy and encouraging voter turnout by using multiple elector contact points. It has the added value of reducing duplicate applications, offers a cost-effective way of communicating that aligns with modern electorate expectations, and spreads the ‘peak’ of registration activity and queries that often occur prior to an election. It can also be tailored to meet the needs of those with visual impairments, preparing them for further postal communications.</p> <p>Victoria Beavon, Electoral Services Manager at Birmingham City Council said of the service:</p> <p>“It’s been hugely beneficial to trial the use of ePollMail. Not only were we able to inform our electorate of their new polling stations and electoral area after our extensive boundary changes, but this level of engagement has given us an extra communications window ahead of the May election.</p> <p>“We’ve now got a means of updating the register in advance of official poll cards going out, and hope to increase turnout while reducing enquiries given such digital engagement is expected to save electors from having to look for a lost poll card, or call us to find out where their polling station is.”</p> <p>The ePollMail service has the potential to deliver benefits to any local authority – irrespective of size or location – and is another example of how Idox Elections is innovating to provide the most reliable and efficient services for the benefit of electoral teams in the UK and across Europe.</p> <p>For more information, please email <a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">elections.sales@idoxgroup.com</a>.</p> idox | Idox Elections | ePollMail | Birmingham City Council | Electoral Services | Local Authority |
Cheers to another successful UGM – January 2018, Leeds As a very busy 2017 drew to a close, we wanted to kick-start 2018 with equal momentum – leading us to another successful, two-day Winter Workshop and User Group Meeting in Leeds this month. 31/01/2018 /media/1530/2018-01-18-photo-00000010.jpg Cheers to another successful UGM – January 2018, Leeds <p>As a very busy 2017 drew to a close, we wanted to kick-start 2018 with equal momentum – leading us to another successful, two-day Winter Workshop and User Group Meeting in Leeds this month.</p> <p>While we saw many of you at our<span> </span><a href="http://elections2.idoxgroup.com/acton/media/22157/regionalevents1">Regional Events</a><span> </span>across the UK in November, it was great to be able to spend additional time discussing our product roadmap and delving deeper into some of the key topics and trends currently affecting, and facing, electoral teams. Special thanks in particular go to our fabulous speakers and presenters – the Cabinet Office, The Behavioural Insights Team, and Birmingham City Council – as well as our own willing team of colleagues.</p> <p>The UGM covered several interesting and thought-provoking subjects – from elections management tips and tricks to Cloud Reporting, Automatic Boundary Changes and the 2018 Canvass – so it was great to see so many of you there, listening, participating and giving us your feedback once more.</p> <p>We were delighted to share our recent experience of working with Birmingham City Council to deliver a new Automatic Boundary Changes solution. Birmingham’s Victoria Beavon was on hand to give an insightful presentation into how the solution has helped the Council undertake a large-scale boundary change process, making changes in minutes instead of months. It was promising to see so many of you interested in the innovative service, and we look forward to communication more about this latest solution over the next few months.</p> <p>In addition, Cloud Reporting and where we see it heading in the future was later discussed, before the Behavioural Insights Team shared evidence from recent studies about using ‘nudge economics’ to improve letter responses – who’d have thought that changing the colour of the envelope would have such a great impact!</p> <p>Despite a full day of training, everyone had the stamina and the spirit to enjoy a group dinner, as well as unleash their competitive streaks over a few quiz games later that evening!</p> <p>The second day was followed with ten themed discussion tables, visited by delegates over six sessions. This facilitated more focused discussions, and gave customers the opportunity to offer feedback and ask questions on a range of topics including eVoting, Business Intelligence, GDPR, canvassing and our own product roadmap. A big thank you once again to the Cabinet Office representatives Piers Harris, Daniel Wood and Lee Pope for supporting our event and hosting a discussion table focused on tackling duplicate applications.</p> <p>Your feedback on this event has been fantastic so far, and shows the value in getting together to listen, exchange ideas and share experiences, as well as discuss new developments on the horizon.</p> <p>We’re pleased to offer all of the Workshop presentations and handouts, as well as the UGM slides via the<span> </span><a href="https://www.halarose.co.uk/forum/index.php">Halarose Forum</a>*. We’ll also be producing and circulating a summary report of each of the UGM sessions soon.</p> <p><strong>Thanks to everyone again for your time, effort and enthusiasm – you made the event as productive as it was. Provisional dates for our next UGM are 5-6<sup>th</sup><span> </span>July, with further details expected shortly. We hope to see you there!<br /><br /></strong></p> <p>* Please note that these resources are only available to customers of Halarose products and services. If you’re an Idox Elections customer and would like access to the Forum, please email the team at<span> </span><a href="mailto:marketing@idoxgroup.com">marketing@idoxgroup.com</a></p> Idox | Idox Elections | Halarose | User Group Meeting | Leeds | GDPR | Cabinet Office | Cloud Reporting |
Effective data protection – the proof is in the preparation The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the most anticipated pieces of legislation in Europe’s history. Affecting industries, sectors and organisations across the EU, it’s a topic few haven’t heard of and many are preparing for. 24/01/2018 /media/1531/istock-607969272_uniform_bc-recp-copy.png Effective data protection – the proof is in the preparation <p>The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the most anticipated pieces of legislation in Europe’s history. Affecting industries, sectors and organisations across the EU, it’s a topic few haven’t heard of and many are preparing for.</p> <p>For the EMS sector, we’re ready and waiting to support our customers with a sector-leading approach to understanding and implementing the data protection elements required to secure your elections. But how?</p> <p><strong>Understanding data protection</strong></p> <p>Going back to GDPR basics, there seems to be a degree of confusion between Information Security and Data Protection. Good information security is an essential precursor of good data protection, but it’s not the same thing. In fact, GDPR recognises this by including requirements which would normally be met by an ISMS (information Security Management System) in articles 24 and 32.</p> <p>Our understanding of our client base – both in the UK and across Europe – tells us that the state of their information security is generally adequate, good, or in a few cases, excellent with huge steps already made over the last few years driven, in part, by the PSN CoCo. Therefore, while the understanding of information security is generally good, knowledge of data protection and how it differs is less understood.</p> <p>And, make no mistake – Data Protection is 20% technology and 80% organisation.</p> <p>The challenge facing most data controllers is being able to adapt the organisation so they can build data protection into a multitude of daily operational routines. After all, we live in an increasingly data-driven world that has changed drastically in technology, privacy and information manipulation since the previous Data Protection Directive was established in 1995.</p> <p><strong>A spotlight on EMS</strong></p> <p>GDPR’s attempts to harmonise and reshape data privacy laws across Europe has brought into play a number of new considerations for those with an electoral remit. From changes to Breach Notification and Consent to the Right to Access and Right to be Forgotten, previously unwritten rules are now<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.eugdpr.org/key-changes.html" target="_blank">clearly stipulated in black and white</a>, and must be deliberated on ahead of the May 2018 enforcement.<span> </span><br /><br />Looking internally, we are not one of the GDPR categories that requires a data controller to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO), and our level of personal data use is typical of any SME. Our information security and data protection requirements (in DPA98 form) are already in place, so our customers can rest assured that we have only needed to do a relatively small amount of tweaking to internal processes to ensure compliance – for instance, changing our breach notification process to meet the 72-hour rule.</p> <p>But we aren’t stopping there. The Idox Elections ethos is to understand and support our customers with a reliability and transparency that sets us apart from the rest. Considering GDPR from a client perspective, we’ve assessed our services and systems against the needs of customers – the ‘data controllers’ – in line with our role as a ‘data processor’.</p> <p>We have also been proactive in assisting our customers to meet their GDPR responsibilities working towards ‘Data protection by design and by default’. We are building this concept into our product development processes so that they already meet the obligations placed on our clients by Article 25 of GDPR.</p> <p>The recent release of the<span> </span><strong>Cloud</strong><span> </span><strong><em>Connector</em></strong><span> </span>is a prime example. From the way in which the data is encrypted and anonymized by the<span> </span><strong><em>Eros</em></strong><span> </span><strong><em>Service</em></strong><span> </span>before it traverses the customer’s internal network, through multiple stages of encryption up to report building, data protection has been part of every fundamental design decision. The technology is powerful but transparent as techniques such as OAuth2, HTTPS, TLS 1.2, Azure Encryption and bitlocked drives ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the data at every stage.</p> <p><strong>Covering all data bases</strong></p> <p>A large proportion of our GDPR work has focused on observing daily operational processes from a client’s perspective. The aim has been to advise how systems can be adapted effectively, understanding business processes and technology in parallel with the new data privacy laws to suit all. For example, the<span> </span><strong><em>Eros</em></strong><span> </span>EMS usually runs as a client/server service inside the enterprise security perimeter where we only look on from a distance.</p> <p>Looking at areas such as this from a neutral standpoint, we can judge where the product meets the needs of GDPR and where something extra needs to done. That might be something:</p> <ul> <li><strong>technical<span> </span></strong>–like using encryption of the SQL Server backups, or replication for availability;</li> <li><strong>functional<span> </span></strong>– like reviewing data content to remove aged<span> </span><strong><em>Eros</em></strong><span> </span>data records</li> <li><strong>operational<span> </span></strong>– likeonly installing systems on machines where there is a real need for access and which are part of the core network (inside the security perimeter or connected by a secure VPN); or</li> <li><strong>organisational</strong><span> </span>–like instructing the call centre on how to verify a caller’s identity before providing WebEros details. Who needs training? Is that one-time or ongoing?</li> </ul> <p>We have made risk assessments by reviewing each product and its business processes against the actual legislation, finding the risks and then coming with practical measures to mitigate or eradicate them. These can’t always be detailed because they will vary for each organisation depending on what measures are already in place and what importance is attached to each risk. But, knowing what the potential risks are and what can be done to alleviate them is a good start.</p> <p>This knowledge is documented in what we call our ‘reverse DPIAs’. A DPIA (Data Protection Impact Assessment) is the preferred (i.e. recommended by the Information Commissioner’s Office) method for assessing how a new system will affect the existing data protection regime. Ours are reversed because they consider how a new regime will illuminate shortcomings in existing products and processes.</p> <p><strong>Evolving with confidence<br /><br /></strong>GDPR is built on the principles of protecting and empowering and this holds potential benefits for all.</p> <p>Our recent GDPR assessments have ensured we’ve taken the appropriate measures to support our findings and, where necessary, taken action to ensure that we have systems and processes in place.</p> <p>To date, we’ve implemented documentation and/or process improvements that are ready or nearing completion across several notable areas. These include, but are not limited to:</p> <ul> <li>Review of current ISMS to verify suitability for GDPR support</li> <li>Review of privacy notes on public websites</li> <li>Revised ‘Data Breach Management’, ‘Information Systems Development Security’, ‘Security Incident Management’ and ‘Supplier Management’ policies within ISMS</li> <li>Internal and external engagement including staff training sessions and a customer survey on GDPR readiness</li> <li>Reverse DPIA<span> </span><strong><em>Eros</em></strong>,<span> </span><strong><em>WebEros</em></strong>,<span> </span><strong><em>AVantGuard</em></strong><span> </span>and<span> </span><strong><em>Perses</em></strong></li> </ul> <p>We can also offer an easy method of scrambling ‘non-Live’<strong><em>Eros</em></strong><span> </span>databases, to minimise the presence of real elector data in your environments. This solution can be run by IT departments, or as a fully managed service should you wish.</p> <p>We understand that our customers have their own assessments to undertake – and measures to implement – given local authorities have the ongoing task of delivering frontline services for citizens and engaging with them on a daily, increasingly digital, basis. Our role as both a service and system partner puts us in the right position to offer that helping, supportive hand when it comes to securing elections. After all, innovation and evolution is always at the heart of our culture to ensure we meet the changing needs of the electoral services market – whether that be product development, customer training or providing the means for ensuring data privacy compliance.</p> <p>Elections success is paramount to retaining public trust and we’re here to help both with GDPR and beyond. The proof is simply in the preparation.</p> <p><strong>Want to find out more or ask a question about our GDPR product offerings?<span> </span></strong><a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us"><strong>Get in touch today</strong></a><strong><span> </span>– we’re always happy to discuss your requirements in more detail.</strong></p> idox | Idox Elections | Data Protection | GDPR | EMS | Eros | Perses | WebEros | AVantGuard |
North Lanarkshire Council chooses Idox for complete elections service Following a competitive tender process, Idox Elections has been awarded a contract with North Lanarkshire Council, where it will support the delivery of an efficient, transparent and reliable elections service until 2020. 21/12/2017 /media/1532/print_checking.png North Lanarkshire Council chooses Idox for complete elections service <p>Following a competitive tender process, Idox Elections has been awarded a contract with North Lanarkshire Council, where it will support the delivery of an efficient, transparent and reliable elections service until 2020.</p> <p>The partnership sees Idox replace incumbent supplier Democracy Counts in the provision of a comprehensive Electoral Management System (EMS). The contract includes the production and delivery of all print requirements for every election within the contract period, including poll cards, ballot books and postal packs for an electorate of approximately 255,000. Idox will also provide the Council’s Postal Managed Service, allowing North Lanarkshire to scan and verify 100% of returned postal votes and associated postal vote statements.</p> <p>The contract builds on Idox’s <a href="/archive/idox-delivers-local-elections-success-across-scotland/">recent e-count success</a> in Scotland and coincides with a similar electoral services contract win in Tayside, due to commence in January 2018.</p> <p>The Tayside Procurement Consortium – on behalf of Angus, Dundee City and Perth &amp; Kinross Councils – has selected Idox to fulfil all print requirements, as well as deliver the Postal Voting Management Solution (PVMS) for each Council.</p> <p>To find out more about the full Idox Elections suite, <a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">email us today</a>!</p> Idox | Idox Elections | North Lanarkshire Council | Elections Service | 2020 | Democracy Counts |
Electoral Commission selects Idox as official eCount supplier to Malta Following a competitive tender process, Idox Elections is delighted to confirm its selection as the official provider of an Electronic Vote Counting Solution to the Office of the Electoral Commission of Malta – a contract that will see it support elections across the country during the 2019-2024 period. 04/12/2017 /media/1533/official-sigining-of-electoral-services-contract.jpg Electoral Commission selects Idox as official eCount supplier to Malta <p>Following a competitive tender process, Idox Elections is delighted to confirm its selection as the official provider of an Electronic Vote Counting Solution to the Office of the Electoral Commission of Malta – a contract that will see it support elections across the country during the 2019-2024 period.</p> <p>The rollout of Idox’s e-counting technology will help Malta accelerate its counting process – reducing the time it takes to count ballot papers and provide calculations from days to hours and minutes.</p> <p>Idox’s services will also extend beyond e-count software to provide a complete infrastructure and services solution, comprising a closed network in Malta’s Naxxar Count Centre which includes hardware, security software, training and support. The team will also partner with Scytl – a specialist in developing secure elections management solutions – to ensure transparent and fully auditable results.</p> <p>The technology will be in place to support Malta’s next round of European Parliament and Local Council elections in 2019, involving the simultaneous election of councillors across 68 Localities and the election of MEPs across 13 Electoral Divisions – both using the Single Transferable Voting (STV) method.</p> <p>Following a ceremony in Malta to formally confirm the partnership, Andrew Riley, Chief Executive Officer of Idox group said: “With over 120 clients in the UK and across Europe using our electoral services, we are unrivalled in expertise, technology and resource, and are delighted to see Malta become the latest client to benefit from our solutions. We’re leading the way in the delivery of smart, end-to-end electoral software, and look forward to extending this to Malta where we will provide the accuracy and speed required for successful elections in 2019 and beyond.”</p> <p>Idox’s extensively tested eCount software was identified as a key strength during the tender process, together with proven experience of managing STV counting on a national scale. This has been demonstrated in Scotland, following the delivery of eCount software to all 32 Scottish councils in the 2012 and 2017 local elections.</p> Idox | Idox Elections | Electoral Commission of Malta | eCount | Electronic Vote Count Solution |
Idox delivers Parliamentary Election success across Norway Idox Elections has once again successfully provided electoral solutions and services across Norway, following on from two national and local election deliveries in 2013 and 2015. 27/09/2017 /media/1534/norwegian-flag.jpg Idox delivers Parliamentary Election success across Norway <p>Idox Elections has once again successfully provided electoral solutions and services across Norway, following on from two national and local election deliveries in 2013 and 2015.</p> <p>This year saw support provided to 29 Municipalities for the Norwegian 2017 Parliamentary Election – more than doubling our delivery in comparison with the 2013 Parliamentary Elections and the 2015 Local Elections.</p> <p>All Municipalities supported in 2015 re-selected Idox as their supplier of choice, with half of them having utilised Idox’s services on all three election occasions.</p> <p>The services provided varied for each Municipality, and included:</p> <ul> <li>Installation and testing of Valgdirektoratet’s (the Norwegian Election Directorate) EVA election scanning software at the Municipalities</li> <li>Provision of scanners and the hire and leasing of other hardware – including servers, monitors and network equipment –  to support the scanning and election process</li> <li>On-site technical support and telephone technical support during the testing, mock elections and election period</li> </ul> <p>In testament to the work completed by the team, Zlatko Dzaferovic, Elections Manager at Trondheim Municipality/Sør-Trøndelag County Authority commented:</p> <p>“We are very satisfied with the cooperation we have had on this project. The communication between Idox and ourselves has worked very well and Idox has, in all respects, fulfilled the agreement and met our requirements for adjustments along the way. The installation of software and the scanning service were excellently organised, with the ballot counting delivered seamlessly and without delay.”</p> <p>The contracts for the Municipalities supported were all secured via the Valgdirektoratet’s procurement framework. Each locality has the option to extend this framework through to the next local elections in 2019, which Idox will be on hand to support.</p> <p>Idox Elections remains committed to supporting local authorities across the UK and Europe in delivering their local and national elections, demonstrated by the recent<span> </span><a href="/archive/idox-acquisition-of-halarose-ltd/">acquisition of Halarose</a>, intended to extend both capability and reach in the sector.</p> Idox | Idox Elections | Norway | Parliamentary Elections |
Does the Weather Affect Voter Turnout? All UK citizens over 18 (16 in Scotland) have the right to vote. But not everyone uses it. Why? Maybe they don’t know who to vote for. Maybe they disagree with the voting system altogether. Or maybe it’s the weather… 21/08/2017 /media/1535/34.jpeg Does the Weather Affect Voter Turnout? <p><span>All UK citizens over 18 (16 in Scotland) have the right to vote. But not everyone uses it. Why? Maybe they don’t know who to vote for. Maybe they disagree with the voting system altogether. Or maybe it’s the weather…</span></p> <p><span>The topic of weather affecting turnout has been discussed in the run up to most general elections through the years, but does it hold any truth? Read on as we explore this wet, drizzly topic.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Voter turnout – a crisis?</span></strong> </p> <p><span>Wait – why are we talking about voter turnout in the first place? Well, in short, it’s become a bit of a crisis. From World War II all the way to the 1997 election turnout was comfortably above 70%, with an impressive 83.9% in 1950. Since the turn of the millennium, however, it’s failed to get anywhere near those heights.</span></p> <p><span>The 2001 low of 59.4% has slowly crept up to 68.7% in 2017, but it’s still so low that non-voters total more than votes for any other party. The result is a problem of representation. With such low voter turnout, you’re never getting a government that truly represents the people.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Weather the storm</span></strong></p> <p><span>It’s clear that the long-term fall in turnout isn’t down to weather. But could significant drops in turnout, such as that in 2001, be partly related to weather? It’s possible. The theory goes that rain puts people off going out. Polling stations are a short walk away – and who wants to exercise their democratic right if it means getting a bit wet, right? Ok, it seems a bit far-fetched, but there are some studies showing a link.</span></p> <p><span>A </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="http://myweb.fsu.edu/bgomez/GomezHansfordKrause_JOP_2007.pdf" target="_blank">2007 US study</a></span><span> looked at the weather conditions in every US county over 14 presidential elections. They found that for every inch of rain, there was a 1% reduction in turnout, with a 5% reduction for every inch of snow. A </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00484-011-0477-7" target="_blank">Dutch study</a></span><span> found the same – 1% drop per inch of rain – as well as noticeable increases for warmer temperatures and sunshine.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Rain drowning the left?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Interestingly in the case of the US, the study found that more rain and a poor turnout had disastrous consequences for the Democrats – typically the more left-leaning party. It may have contributed to George Bush’s Republican win in 2000, they suggest.</span></p> <p><span>A similar opinion is held in the UK, where rain is thought to be detrimental to parties like Labour and the Greens. Following the Copeland by-election, Labour MP Shami Chakrabarti </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-corbyn-copeland-defeat-shami-chakrabarti-storm-doris-media-disunity-a7600101.html" target="_blank">blamed the weather</a></span><span> for Labour’s defeat. Why? She cited things like car ownership, with left-wing voters typically less well-off than their opposition.</span></p> <p><strong><span>No real effect?</span></strong> </p> <p><span>However, according to Oxford University’s </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-40172917" target="_blank">Stephen Fisher</a></span><span>, the weather doesn’t have an effect on UK elections. He puts the 2001 low turnout down to two factors:</span></p> <ul> <li><span>         </span><span>How close the election race is</span></li> <li><span>         </span><span>How different the options are</span></li> </ul> <p><span>Voters couldn’t see much difference between Blair and Hague, but also saw the result as a foregone conclusion. A unique combination of these two factors saw turnout drop to its lowest post-war level. It seems to be back on the up now, however, with figures reaching 68.7% in 2017.</span></p> <p><span>What do you think? Is the future bright for voter turnout, or will it continue to be dark and cloudy? <a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">Get in touch and let us know.</a></span></p> Idox | Idox Elections | Voter Turnout | Bad Weather | Oxford University |
Idox acquisition of Halarose Ltd We are delighted to announce that Idox, a major provider of software and solutions to the UK public sector and a leading supplier of electoral solutions, has completed the acquisition of Halarose Ltd. 18/08/2017 /media/1536/halarose_an-idox-company.png Idox acquisition of Halarose Ltd <p class="Default"><span>We are delighted to announce that Idox, a major provider of software and solutions to the UK public sector and a leading supplier of electoral solutions, has completed the acquisition of Halarose Ltd. </span></p> <p class="Default"><span>Please read the full statement published by Idox <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.idoxgroup.com/archive/acquisition-of-halarose-limited/" target="_blank">here</a>.</span></p> Idox | Acquisition | Halarose | Electoral Solutions |
Voting on Thursdays – What’s Behind this British Tradition? When it comes to voting, people have all sorts of traditions. Some voters always take a pen, others go straight to the pub afterwards, and some families vote together. But there’s one voting tradition that overrides them all – namely, Thursdays. You might have noticed – or you might not – that General Elections are always held on a Thursday. Odd, right? 15/08/2017 /media/1537/32-01.jpg Voting on Thursdays – What’s Behind this British Tradition? <p><span>When it comes to voting, people have all sorts of traditions. Some voters always take a pen, others go straight to the pub afterwards, and some families vote together. But there’s one voting tradition that overrides them all – namely, Thursdays. You might have noticed – or you might not – that General Elections are always held on a Thursday. Odd, right?</span></p> <p><span>Read on as we explore the reasons behind this peculiar pattern.</span></p> <p><strong><span>A trip back in time</span></strong></p> <p><span>We didn’t always vote on Thursdays. In fact, we didn’t always vote on one day. Prior to 1918, constituencies would vote on different days across four weeks. The problem, it’s thought, was that this created a ‘bandwagon effect’ where a party’s success in one constituency would influence the voting of others. To eliminate this, the 1918 Representation of the People Act restricted polling to a single day.</span></p> <p><span>But which day should they choose? The first single day election was held on Saturday 14<sup>th</sup> December 1918, with following elections on Wednesdays, Thursdays and one Tuesday over the next 13 years. Since the 1930s, however, every single General Election has been held on a Thursday.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Why Thursday?</span></strong></p> <p><span>While it’s not cut and dry, most of the reasons for voting on a Thursday point to the day it precedes. Friday was traditionally pay day for British workers, which meant one thing – they were off down to the pub. Having the vote on Thursday avoided them voting under the influence, but it also eliminated so-called ‘Conservative brewing interests’. Allow us to elaborate…</span></p> <p><strong><span>Conservative brewing interests</span></strong> </p> <p><span>The 1872 Licensing Act restricted opening hours for public houses, regulated beer content, and gave local authorities the option to ban alcohol completely. It was a Liberal Act that enraged publicans and brewers, who then – it’s thought – influenced their customers to vote against the Liberals. The following election was won by the Conservatives.</span></p> <p><span>From then, there was a great deal of political funding for brewers, several of whom entered parliament as MPs, with many awarded peerage and other honours. The Conservatives clearly enjoyed having the brewers on their side – and a vote on Thursday rather than Friday aimed to minimise this unfair influence.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Two sides of the story</span></strong></p> <p><span>Thursday polling isn’t just a tradition to avoid Conservative interest, though. It also eliminates the influence of Church ministers, who were generally Liberal-leaning. Priests would see large amounts of the public on Sundays at Church, where they may have been able to influence their voting preference. A Thursday vote was a good fit to avoid both the liberal persuasion of the Church and the Conservative interests of the pubs.</span></p> <p><span>But what about other elections? By-elections have been held on Thursdays with just two exceptions after 1965. Since 1972, when Urban and Rural District Councils were replaced with District Councils, local elections have also been held on Thursdays. It’s clearly a tradition that’s recognised in British politics, as both the 2016 EU Referendum and 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum were held on Thursdays.</span></p> <p><strong><span>The rest of the electoral calendar</span></strong></p> <p><span>Hence the election is always on Thursday, the date changes every year meaning that all the other deadlines leading up to election change annually as well. These include rolling registration periods, application and alteration notice deadlines. The dates can be calculated based on various rules of electoral legislation and is a complex, lengthy task. However our software calculates these automatically. We also offer a digital and printed calendar for free. The printed version includes additional information on future elections, who can register to vote, major religious festivals, bank holidays, minimum wage and more.  </span></p> <p><strong>To request your free calendar, please <a href="mailto:marketing@idoxgroup.com" title="Request calendar">get in touch</a>.</strong></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Idox | Idox Elections | Voting | Thursday | General Election | 1872 Licensing Act | Electoral Calendar |
A Timeline of British Voting In modern day Britain, every British citizen over the age of 18 has the right to vote. But it wasn’t always that way. Women, young people and even the working class were denied the vote in the past. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way. Read on as we take a look at how British voting rights have changed over the years. 07/08/2017 /media/1538/31-01.jpg A Timeline of British Voting <p><span>In modern day </span><span>Britain, every British citizen over the age of 18 has the right to vote. But it wasn’t always that way. Women, young people and even the working class were denied the vote in the past. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way. Read on as we take a look at how British voting rights have changed over the years.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Pre-1832</span></strong></p> <p><span>Prior to the Great Reform Act, voting was dependent on three criteria – sex, age and property. Only men over the age of 21 were allowed to vote – and only if they owned property over a certain value. It was essentially a way of making voting a rich man’s privilege, reinforced by small boroughs having more MPs than larger counties, which were predominantly inhabited by poorer workers.</span></p> <p><strong><span>The Great Reform Act – 1832</span></strong></p> <p><span>In 1832, the Great Reform Act broadened the spectrum of voters to include the likes of landowners and shopkeepers as part of the property criteria. Householders paying more than £10 in annual rent were also given the vote – and the constituency boundaries were rearranged to make representation less unfair.</span></p> <p><span>The act still defined voters as ‘male persons’, however, and continued to exclude swathes of working class workers from elections. Subsequent reforms in 1867 and 1884 increased the electorate further with broader property and rental criteria. They also continued to make voting boundaries more fair, but failed to make any changes for women.</span></p> <p><strong><span>The Representation of the People Act – 1918</span></strong></p> <p><span>In February 1918, the Representation of the People Act made two major changes to voting criteria – it removed practically all property requirements for men over 21 and allowed women over 30 to vote. Property qualifications were kept in place when giving women over 30 the vote, however, with voting rights also given to men in the armed forces from the age of 19.</span></p> <p><span>This landmark change for women came after 85 years of debate on the issue, with over 15 years of protests, militancy and hunger strikes by the Women’s Social and Political Union and Women’s Freedom League. Later that year, on December 14<sup>th</sup>, millions of women voted for the first time ever – with around 8.5 million now eligible.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Equal Franchise Act – 1928</span></strong></p> <p><span>At last, women were given voting equality to men. In 1928, the Equal Franchise Act gave all women over 21 the right to vote, removing property requirements completely. Some 15 million women were eligible to vote in the following 1929 General Election.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Representation of the People Act – 1969</span></strong></p> <p><span>The 1969 Representation of the People Act made many changes we’re familiar with today. The voting age was reduced to 18, with undergraduate students now allowed to vote in their university constituency.</span></p> <p><strong><span>And in the future?</span></strong></p> <p><span>So, what can we expect next? Will the voting age be lowered further? </span><span><a href="/archive/how-would-votes-at-16-change-the-future-of-general-elections/">Votes at 16</a></span><span> is a campaign looking to extend suffrage to 16 and 17 year-olds, and achieved this right in the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum. There’s also a debate around </span><span><a href="/archive/should-eu-citizens-be-allowed-to-vote-in-uk-elections/">EU citizens voting in the UK</a></span><span>, but that looks less likely to change with Britain leaving the EU.</span></p> Idox | Idox Elections | British Voting | The Great Reform Act 1832 | The Representation of the People Act 1918 | Equal Franchise Act 1928 | Representation of the the People Act 1962 | Votes at 16 | Scottish Independence Referendum |
How Would Electronic Voting Affect British Elections? “Why can’t we just vote online?” ask so many people who have become familiar with the instant digital world. It’s a good question – why can’t we? Is it possible that the UK would introduce electronic voting? If so, how would it work? And what impact would it have? 01/08/2017 /media/1539/30-01.jpg How Would Electronic Voting Affect British Elections? <p><span>“Why can’t we just vote online?” ask so many people who have become familiar with the instant digital world. It’s a good question – why can’t we? Is it possible that the UK would introduce electronic voting? If so, how would it work? And what impact would it have?</span></p> <p><span>Read on for the answers to all the questions surrounding electronic voting.</span></p> <p><strong><span>A new way of voting</span></strong></p> <p><span>Electronic voting wouldn’t be the first time voting methods have changed. Absent voting (by post) was temporarily introduced in 1918 and 1945 to allow soldiers to vote in the post-war periods when many were still serving overseas. It was extended to the physically incapacitated and certain occupations in 1948 and eventually to all civilians in 2000.</span></p> <p><span>So, what’s stopping us doing the same with electronic voting? After all, we do shopping, banking and a big chunk of business and personal communication online. Electronic voting or ‘e-voting’ systems would make voting instant and completely effortless. It would make it even easier for people to have their say – eliminating that short walk out in the evening that seems to put so many reluctant voters off.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Voter engagement</span></strong></p> <p><span>Would this instant effort-free voting method actually translate to a greater turnout? Logically, you would assume so. Estonia has been using e-voting since 2005, with the first parliamentary election in 2007. Here are the voter turnout figures before and after e-voting was introduced:<br /></span></p> <ul> <li><span>         </span><em><span>1999 (before): 57.4%</span></em></li> <li><span>         </span><em><span>2003 (before): 58.2% – increase: 0.8%</span></em></li> <li><span>         </span><span>2007 (after): 61.9% – increase: 3.7%</span></li> <li><span>         </span><span>2011 (after): 63.5% – increase: 1.6%</span></li> <li><span>         </span><span>2015 (after): 64.2% – increase: 0.7%</span></li> </ul> <p><span>It’s clear the turnout has risen after e-voting’s introduction, and continued to rise. What’s not so clear is whether there is a link. The rise of 3.7% in the first election using e-voting would suggest it had some part to play, but data from the </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.vvk.ee/?lang=en" target="_blank">Estonian National Electoral Committee</a></span><span> shows that only 5.5% of votes were cast online. This rose to 24.3% by 2011 and 30.5% in 2015. The conclusion? It’s not clear whether it had a direct impact, but what is clear is that plenty – nearly a third – of voters are choosing to use the new method.</span></p> <p><span>When it comes to voter engagement, it’s also important to consider the way society is moving. Every new voter turning 18 has grown up with technology around them. They’re acclimatised to it. Soon enough, the vast majority of voters will be millennials or younger. It’s much harder to get people interested in politics when it’s centred around a paper ballot </span><span>that – to many – seems completely archaic.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Counting up</span></strong></p> <p><span>Regardless of turnout, introducing electronic voting makes the whole process quicker without a doubt. Electronic voting software is equipped with sophisticated vote-counting tools that give instant and accurate results. If all votes were electronic, there would be no need for long counts and recounts. But even just having e-voting as an option reduces the counting burden by a decent amount – nearly a third in Estonia. That translates to a reduced cost for elections on the whole as staff wouldn’t be required for as many hours.</span></p> <p><span>It would also have an impact on spoilt ballots. While some voters intentionally spoil their ballots, there are a number of accidental spoilt ballots. Unclear intention or multiple candidate selections can lead to ballots being discarded as spoilt. But on a programmed e-voting system, voters would have to make their intention clear to process their vote.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Problems with e-voting</span></strong></p> <p><span>There are clearly several positives to e-voting, but what about the negatives?</span></p> <p><span>Most of them can be summed up with one word – security. As with all things online, there are worries of hacking. In the three elections using e-voting to date, however, Estonia hasn’t encountered any issues of e-vote hacking. As software develops further, this becomes even more unlikely.</span></p> <p><span>There’s also a worry of manufacturer bias. Much like the suspicions around biased vote counters, there is an idea that e-voting software manufacturers could have political ties and attempt to fabricate election results. But, again much like the suspicions of biased vote counters, this is highly improbable.</span></p> <p><strong><span>E-voting = E-canvassing?</span></strong><strong> </strong></p> <p><span>It isn’t just turnout that e-voting could affect. A switch to electronic votes could see significant changes in the way voters are targeted. Knowing that the public will be casting their vote online, parties would surely aim to target them using this medium. Social media campaigning was stepped up during the 2017 election, with the main parties engaging with and advertising on relatively new platforms such as Snapchat as well as the likes of Twitter and Facebook. This kind of canvassing would likely take over if electronic voting became the norm.</span></p> <p><span><strong>Looking to the future…</strong></span></p> <p><span>It’s all well and good discussing the potential ins and outs of electronic voting – but will it ever happen? So far, it’s only been on the lips of opposition politicians. Labour’s Ed Miliband </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/06/07/still-cant-vote-online/" target="_blank">reportedly promised</a></span><span> to trial the idea during his 2015 election campaign. And current leader Jeremy Corbyn has spoken about introducing online voting in elections </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="http://labourlist.org/2016/08/full-text-jeremy-corbyns-speech-at-digital-democracy-manifesto-launch/" target="_blank">“if we can be sure of its reliability”</a></span><span>.</span></p> <p><span>The Conservatives have displayed some desire to move online, however. In 2014, during the Lib Dem coalition, </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gov.uk/government/news/register-to-vote-new-online-service-launched" target="_blank">voter registration was updated</a></span><span> to allow members of the public to register online. Using their name, date of birth, address and National Insurance number, people can now register “in just 3 minutes”.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Phasing it in?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Online voting systems have been trialled in the past too – albeit locally. In 2007, 12 local councils including Sheffield, Sunderland and Swindon were approved to trial an electoral pilot scheme for the 3<sup>rd</sup> May local elections. It included the option to vote online or by phone. However, the relatively late approval – in January the same year – meant that the results were pretty underwhelming.</span></p> <p><span>Just 4% of voters chose to use either the phone or the internet to vote in Sheffield, for instance. The </span><span>Electoral Commission suggests</span><span> the results may have been limited by a pre-registration period, as well as the separate 96 hour voting period for online and phone, which many people were not aware of. In the future, if we really want to realise e-voting’s potential, it’s going to need more time and a fairer trial.</span></p> Idox | Idox Elections | Electronic Voting | Online Voting | Electoral Commission | Absent Voting | Postal Vote | Millennials | Security | Labour | Conservatives |
UK Voting ID Pilot Schemes: Everything You Need To Know American TV network FOX aired a special short of The Simpsons five years ago entitled Homer Votes 2012. During the brief episode, the cartoon protagonist attempts to vote for Barack Obama, only to find the electronic polling machine is rigged to register votes exclusively for Republican candidate John McCain. The show has been renowned for its timely political satire, and this little segment put a humorous spin on political rigging – a topic and concern that has surrounded American elections for some time and is beginning to cause similar unrest in the UK. 24/07/2017 /media/1540/1-id-pilots.jpg UK Voting ID Pilot Schemes: Everything You Need To Know <p><span>American TV network FOX aired a special short of <em>The Simpsons</em> five years ago entitled <strong><em>Homer Votes 2012</em></strong>. During the brief episode, the cartoon protagonist attempts to vote for Barack Obama, only to find the electronic polling machine is rigged to register votes exclusively for Republican candidate John McCain. The show has been renowned for its timely political satire, and this little segment put a humorous spin on political rigging – a topic and concern that has surrounded American elections for some time and is beginning to cause similar unrest in the UK.</span></p> <p><span>The British public’s faith in the voting system has been shaken slightly in recent years, with nearly 500 reported cases of voter fraud </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/voters-pilot-scheme-id-eric-pickles-electoral-commission-cabinet-office-a7496121.html" target="_blank"><span>reported in 2015</span></a><span> by the independent Electoral Commission. In an attempt to prevent the voting process from losing its integrity and the system from being undermined, the UK government has moved to launch a voting pilot scheme – where people turning up at a selected polling stations must present a valid form of ID in order to place their vote.</span></p> <p><span>Here is everything you need to know about the scheme.</span></p> <p><strong><span>The Reasons</span></strong></p> <p><span>The 2015 voter fraud numbers have influenced the government’s decision to trial the ID system, with increased amounts of voters in the country also playing a role. The UK public are seemingly more invested in political matters than they have been for a long time, with the EU Referendum seeing a turnout of more than 33 million – the highest voting figures in Britain for 25 years. With this in mind, the government are arguing that it is more important than ever to crack down on voting fraud, and are setting up the ID pilot scheme as a way to test the waters and enhance security.</span></p> <p><strong><span>The Differences</span></strong></p> <p><span>During the next set of local elections in 2018, anyone visiting a polling station in the UK may be asked to provide a legitimate form of ID in order to cast their ballot. Accepted forms of identification may include a passport, driving licence, and/or proof of address – similar to the kinds of ID one might need when opening a new bank account, for example. The “showing ID to vote” system is already implemented in Northern Ireland.</span></p> <p> <strong><span>The Controversy</span></strong></p> <p><span>Some are voicing concerns at the requests for ID at polling stations, with claims that the new system could potentially prevent hundreds or even thousands of people from being able to successfully cast their vote. The Labour Party in particular have </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/27/minister-disputes-livingstone-claim-that-voter-crackdown-will-hit-poorest" target="_blank"><span>expressed their doubts </span></a><span>about the new rules and regulations, with representatives stating that the need for ID may dissuade low-income, older, and ethnic minority citizens from taking part.</span></p> <p><strong><span>The Future</span></strong></p> <p><span>A choice number of local authorities will be selected to pilot the ID voting scheme to begin with, and whilst it remains to be seen whether the system will be implemented on a full-time basis, the </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/15200339.Voters_in_Bolton_could_be_asked_to_show_ID_at_polling_booths_to_combat_fraud/" target="_blank"><span>statistics</span></a><span> suggest that the majority of the UK public believe it to be a good idea that could benefit the country in the long run</span><span>. </span></p> Idox | Idox Elections | UK Voting ID Pilot Schemes | FOX TV network | The Simpsons | Barack Obama | John McCain | Electoral Commission | Voter Fraud |
Should EU Citizens Be Allowed to Vote in UK Elections? Some adults vote, some don’t, some even spoil the ballot. But what’s important is that they have the right to do so. However, for over 2 million EU citizens living in the UK, this isn’t the case. Why? Read on to see why EU citizens can’t vote in General Elections and whether this should change. 17/07/2017 /media/1541/28-01.jpg Should EU Citizens Be Allowed to Vote in UK Elections? <p><span>Some adults vote, some don’t, some even spoil the ballot. But what’s important is that they have the right to do so. However, for over 2 million EU citizens living in the UK, this isn’t the case. Why? Read on to see why EU citizens can’t vote in General Elections and whether this should change.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What the law says</span></strong> </p> <p><span>In total, there are </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://fullfact.org/immigration/eu-citizens-living-uk/" target="_blank">2.2 million EU citizens</a></span><span> working in the UK. That’s a pretty sizeable chunk of the electorate excluded. In fact, it’s over 4 percent of the </span><span>46.5 million</span><span> people registered to vote – and enough to swing most recent votes. To put this into perspective, the 2017, 2015, 2010 and 2005 General Elections as well as the EU Referendum were all decided by margins smaller than 2.2 million.</span></p> <p><span>Can they vote? The rules are pretty straightforward – they’re allowed to vote in local elections, police and crime commissioner elections and European parliamentary elections. But, most importantly, they can’t vote in General Elections, and were excluded from the 2016 EU Referendum.</span></p> <p><span>But how does this compare to other EU countries? Actually, it’s the same across the board. Article 22 of the EU Treaty outlines the same voting rights for all EU citizens in whichever EU country they reside.</span></p> <p><strong><span>How to get the vote?</span></strong></p> <p><span>There is a way to ‘earn’ the vote, so to speak. EU citizens can apply for British citizenship, permitted they meet the following requirements:</span></p> <ul> <li><span>         </span><span>Lived in the UK for 5 years without leaving for more than a total of 450 days</span></li> <li><span>         </span><span>No serious or recent criminal offences</span></li> <li><span>         </span><span>They intend to continue living in the UK</span></li> <li><span>         </span><span>Permanent residence</span></li> <li><span>         </span><span>They meet the ‘knowledge of English’ and ‘life in the UK’ requirements</span></li> </ul> <p><span>The process is far from simple, however. Life in the UK tests, for instance, have questions that most British-born citizens would struggle with.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Time for change?</span></strong></p> <p><span>So, should EU citizens be given greater voting rights? It’s certainly worth debating. Millions work in other countries and contribute significant amounts in tax, but are denied their say in how that tax is spent. It would be up to the EU to enforce the change, however, so it would likely exclude the UK, given that we’re heading out of the union.</span></p> <p><span>How about EU citizens staying in Britain after Brexit? Unfortunately, that picture is no clearer. The few voting rights EU citizens do have are also in question. Recent UK proposals failed to specify any sort of voting rights for EU citizens. It’s led </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/09/brexit-offer-eu-citzens-veto-british-porposal-european-parliament" target="_blank">Guy Verhofstadt</a></span><span>, the EU’s Brexit co-ordinator, to assume those with settled status will “lose their right to vote in local elections”.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Local elections</span></strong></p> <p><span>As it stands, EU citizens are allowed to vote in local elections. But how can local councils and authorities ensure the electorate is engaged? At Idox Elections, we provide electoral software for canvassing, registration, voting and much, much more. Our continuously refined software can help you increase voter turnout and ensure the election process runs smoothly. Sound good? </span><span><a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">Get in touch with us</a></span><span> to discuss any of our products and service.</span></p> Idox | Idox Elections | EU Citizens | UK Vote | General Elections | Article 22 of the EU Treaty | Local Elections | Brexit |
Halarose User Group Workshop and Meeting, July 2017 The snap general election followed only 5 weeks after local elections thereby applying extra pressure on election officers, and pushing many holidays into later June which had to be taken swiftly before the canvass start. Despite the crazy few months, we organised and ran a successful User Group event in Birmingham last week! 13/07/2017 /media/1542/27.jpeg Halarose User Group Workshop and Meeting, July 2017 <p>The snap general election followed only 5 weeks after local elections thereby applying extra pressure on election officers, and pushing many holidays into later June which had to be taken swiftly before the canvass start. Despite the crazy few months, we organised and ran a successful User Group event in Birmingham last week!</p> <p> <img id="__mcenew" src="https://elections.idoxgroup.com/media/1250/img_20170706_083501.jpg?width=304px&amp;height=406px" alt="" width="304" height="406"></p> <p>We had 2 guest presenters. Pauline Salkeld from North East Lincolnshire Council talked about her week as a secondee at our office back in April. The secondment included working in our well known, efficient and friendly support team, taking part in development meetings, giving feedback on our brand new dashboard and more.<span> </span>Pauline described<span> </span>her time with us as a very fun and valuable experience. We hope Pauline’s positive feedback will lead to many more secondments at our office!</p> <p><img id="__mcenew" src="https://elections.idoxgroup.com/media/1249/20170706_141216-copy.jpg?width=498px&amp;height=280px" alt="" width="498" height="280"></p> <p>John Tomlinson from Sheffield City Council spoke about the Higher Education and Research Act and the implication for EROs. John has been the main instigator of legendary student registration success in Sheffield. John spoke once more (having previously done so at our event in July 2016) about how his team use our <a data-udi="umb://document/b5b32408a0124c63a3699184a5359039" href="/solutions/data-matching-mining/" title="Data Mining">data matching and data mining module</a>, in processing the data from universities to add potential student voters to the electoral register. Additionally John also spoke about preparation work, negotiations and funding possibilities for those who want to go down a similar route and increase the number of student voters on their electoral roll. </p> <p> <img id="__mcenew" src="https://elections.idoxgroup.com/media/1252/20170706_152746-copy.jpg?width=502px&amp;height=283px" alt="" width="502" height="283"></p> <p>Then Rob Taylor, Paul Haworth, Marty Chakravarti, Andrew Dougan and Andrew Rowe from Halarose each presented a number of sessions, especially focussing on the canvass, year end and the various new functions we’ve <a data-udi="umb://document/8445d2e53ff74adaa5daef9dd05bf200" href="/solutions/electoral-management-system/" title="Electoral Management System">developed in our EMS</a>. These were engaging, fun and very useful.</p> <p>After a full day of training, everyone enjoyed a relaxing atmosphere over dinner and got competitive solving some picture quizzes before continuing the event with the User Group Meeting (UGM) the next morning. On Friday there were twelve different topical tables to be visited over six sessions. This gave customers plenty of choice and meant that sessions were not overcrowded, which again allowed our team to focus on individual feedback and questions in more detail.</p> <p>Big shout out to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/cabinet-office" target="_blank">Cabinet Office</a><span> </span>representatives Scott Richards and Rory Kinane for supporting our event on Friday. Rory, Scott and our customers discussed current and future pilots as well as other various matters on the future of electoral processes. </p> <p><img id="__mcenew" src="https://elections.idoxgroup.com/media/1251/20170706_201625.jpg?width=507px&amp;height=285px" alt="" width="507" height="285"></p> <p><img id="__mcenew" src="https://elections.idoxgroup.com/media/1253/20170706_201735.jpg?width=509px&amp;height=286px" alt="" width="509" height="286"></p> <p>Feedback from attendees in Birmingham was brilliant as usual and again emphasised the value of our User Group Workshops and Meetings. It was a great pleasure to see so many of our customers there despite the long and busy period they have recently experienced.</p> <p><strong>Thank you very much to everyone for attending and special thanks to those who presented over the two days. See you again in January 2018!</strong></p> Halarose | User Group Meeting | July 2017 | Canvass | Birmingham | NE Lincolnshire Council | Sheffield City Council | Higher Education & Research Act | Eros | Cabinet Office | Electoral Processes | Training |
How Would ‘Votes at 16’ Change the Future of General Elections? ‘Votes at 16’ is the official campaign calling for a lower voting age. It currently stands at 18, which excludes a number of politically active youngsters from participating in elections. Should it be changed? Or is 16 simply too young to vote? This post explores how reducing the voting age to 16 could change the future of British voting. 10/07/2017 /media/1543/26-01.jpg How Would ‘Votes at 16’ Change the Future of General Elections? <p><span>‘</span><span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.votesat16.org/" target="_blank">Votes at 16</a></span><span>’ is the official campaign calling for a lower voting age. It currently stands at 18, which excludes a number of politically active youngsters from participating in elections. Should it be changed? Or is 16 simply too young to vote? This post explores how reducing the voting age to 16 could change the future of British voting.</span></p> <p><strong>The status quo</strong></p> <p>When people reach the ripe old age of 18 in the UK, they’re officially classed as an adult. They can buy and consume alcohol, serve on a jury, get married without permission and apply for a mortgage, amongst other things. But most important of all is that they’re allowed to vote.</p> <p>This has been the case since the Representation of the People Act in 1969, which lowered the age from 21 to 18. And do they use it? To some degree. But in truth, voter turnout for the broad 18-24 age group has been pretty poor since the millennium.</p> <p>In 1992, they had a 66% turnout, which was only slightly below the cross-age average. Since then it has steadily decreased, reaching levels of below 50% in elections from 2001-2015 onwards. In the most recent 2017 General Election, however, there was a surge in youth voter turnout. Often credited to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn,<span> </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://yougov.co.uk/news/2017/06/13/how-britain-voted-2017-general-election/" target="_blank">YouGov estimates</a></span><span> </span>a much-improved 58% turnout in 18-24 year-olds.</p> <p><strong>Votes at 16</strong></p> <p>When it comes to Votes at 16, voter turnout shouldn’t really be part of the decision. Whether or not some people use their right to vote shouldn’t be an argument against giving others the right. That’s the stance of the official campaign, which has been supported by Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens and – more prominently – the Scottish National Party. They lowered the voting age to 16 for the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum and have since extended this to all Scottish Parliament and Scottish local government elections.</p> <p>So how would it work? Well, it’s quite simple on the face of it. You give 16 year-olds the right to vote by passing a new law in Parliament. But there would have to be a number of changes made in order to adapt.</p> <p><strong>Voter registration</strong></p> <p>The first issue with a new set of voters is getting them registered. Much like the turnout, voter registration has been poor for young voters. There were some signs of improvement in 2017, when over a million young people registered to vote in the month after the election was called.</p> <p>However, lowering the voting age to 16 gives a new opportunity for the country to galvanise the youth to vote. In all UK countries, people turn 16 in their final school year. If schools encouraged voter registration and assisted pupils in doing so, there could be a significant increase.</p> <p>Also a factor with registration in the last election was social media. Facebook posted a message to all its UK users encouraging them to register on 13<sup>th</sup><span> </span>May, just 9 days before the registration deadline. The results speak for themselves, with<span> </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="http://metro.co.uk/2017/05/13/surge-in-young-people-registering-to-vote-after-facebook-appeal-6634834/" target="_blank">the Metro</a></span><span> </span>reporting a spike of 7,000 registrations in just one day following the message.</p> <p>If votes at 16 were passed, the electoral commission would surely have to consider this kind of campaigning to improve voter registration. It’s worth considering this strategy without votes at 16 too. After all, the<span> </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/" target="_blank">most common age group on Facebook</a></span><span> </span>is 25-34.</p> <p><strong>Spread the word</strong></p> <p>So, what about canvassing? You’re not likely to reach out to that many 16 year-olds with good old fashioned door knocking. Political parties would have to broaden their canvassing process to connect with the youth vote. Schools, colleges and vocational training centres would have to be added to the campaign trail.</p> <p>Again, social media would be important. But as we saw in 2017, the main parties are already well aware of this. Both the Conservatives and Labour attempted to reach out to voters with adverts on Snapchat, as well as the more familiar platforms Twitter and Facebook.</p> <p>There’s also the issue of policies. It would be up to politicians to convince the new 16-17 voters that they’re the best option. How? With more young voters, we would expect to see more youth-focussed policies. Issues like education, training and employment would become more prominent than ever before, with a whole new crop of school leavers given a say in how things are run.</p> <p><strong>Ctrl, Alt, Vote</strong></p> <p>Electronic voting has been adopted in several countries like Australia, India and Brazil. Whether the government would support this option is another question. But it would surely gain momentum with a lowered voting age.</p> <p>Why? Everyone turning 16 will have had access to the internet from a young age. Like so-called ‘Generation Z’, they have grown up with digital as the norm. Everything they do and see is online or electronic in some way or another. While electronic voting was shown to have no significant impact on turnout in<span> </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.eui.eu/projects/eudo-publicopinion/documents/bochslere-voteeui2010.pdf" target="_blank">Estonia in 2007</a></span>, ten years on it seems more likely to have a positive effect – and even more so further into the future.</p> <p><strong>Heading to the polls</strong></p> <p>So, let’s get down to the question on most people’s minds – how would Votes at 16 impact on actual election results? It’s hard to say in the long term. But the best way we can predict it is by looking at the current link between age and voting patterns.<span> </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://yougov.co.uk/news/2017/06/13/how-britain-voted-2017-general-election/" target="_blank">YouGov</a></span><span> </span>asked over 50,000 adults how they voted in the 2017 general election and here’s what they found for different age groups:</p> <table border="0" width="578" height="371"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p style="text-align: center;">Age</p> </td> <td> <p style="text-align: center;">Conservative voters</p> </td> <td> <p style="text-align: center;">Labour voters</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>18-19</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>19%</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>66%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>20-24</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>22%</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>62%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>25-29</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>23%</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>63%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>30-39</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>29%</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>55%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>40-49</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>39%</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>44%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>50-59</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>47%</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>37%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>60-69</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>58%</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>27%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>70+</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>69%</p> </td> <td style="text-align: center;"> <p>19%</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Looking at these figures, it’s hard to see anything other than a swing to the so-called ‘left. Labour gained more votes than the Conservatives for all age groups below 50, with a massive majority in under 30s. This contrasts the domination of the Conservatives for those over 60. More precisely, YouGov has calculated the exact turning point at 47. This is the age when voters become statistically more likely to vote Conservative, based on 2017 results.</p> <p><strong>Democracy through technology</strong></p> <p>It’s not just electronic voting that makes technology an essential part of democracy. At Idox Elections, we provide a wide range of innovative electoral software that can enhance democratic processes across the board. From<span> </span><span><a data-udi="umb://document/8445d2e53ff74adaa5daef9dd05bf200" href="/solutions/electoral-management-system/" title="Electoral Management System">registration management</a></span><span> </span>and<span> </span><span><a data-udi="umb://document/1d541b94429740c1a2f0d561e9a4048c" href="/solutions/postal-vote-checking/" title="Postal Vote Checking">postal vote checking</a></span><span> </span>to<span> </span><span><a data-udi="umb://document/61466b20f12544af9541b14d0199db66" href="/services/interactive-voter-response/" title="Interactive Voter Response">online canvassing</a></span><span> </span>and<span> </span><span><a data-udi="umb://document/12a709d191e6404b8c6524b708530754" href="/solutions/election-count-reporting/" title="Election Count Reporting">election count services</a></span>, we cover all bases. And with all of our services, our friendly support staff are always on hand to help, ensuring you get the best service. Be sure to<span> </span><span><a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">get in touch</a></span><span> </span>for more information.</p> <p>  </p> Halarose | Votes at 16 | General Elections | Conservative Voters | Labour Voters | Representation of the People Act 1969 | Voter Registration | Facebook | Snapchat | Social Media | Jeremy Corbyn | Lib Dems | Scottish National Party | The Greens | Scottish Parliament | Scottish Independence Referendum | Canvassing | Australia | India | Brazil | Generation Z | Twitter | Democracy | Postal Vote Checking |
Is the UK’s Voting System Outdated? UK parliamentary elections are decided using the First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system. They have been for some time, but is it out of date? Many other countries have changed to different voting systems, to update the way the public vote. Is it time Britain did the same? This post discusses whether it’s time for a change from the traditional voting system. 03/07/2017 /media/1544/251-01.jpg Is the UK’s Voting System Outdated? <p><span>UK parliamentary elections are decided using the First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system. They have been for some time, but is it out of date? Many other countries have changed to different voting systems, to update the way the public vote. Is it time Britain did the same? This post discusses whether it’s time for a change from the traditional voting system.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Introducing FPTP</span></strong></p> <p><span>First Past the Post allows voters to select one candidate only. The candidate with the most votes wins in each seat, whether council or parliamentary. It’s the most straightforward voting system and one of the oldest. And this is partly why it’s sometimes called outdated. But is it really?</span></p> <p><span>Some countries certainly think so. The Netherlands and Australia replaced it way back in 1917 and 1918, respectively. Australia opted for the alternative vote (AV), while the Netherlands went for proportional representation using a Party List system. More recently, in 1996, South Africa and New Zealand also replaced it with similar proportional representation systems.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Sticking with it</span></strong></p> <p><span>Other countries disagree. Countless nations still use FPTP, most notably India, Canada and the United States. Interestingly though, some parts of the US use different systems for non-presidential elections. California, for instance, uses a two-round system, where only the two candidates with the most votes survive for a second round of head to head voting.</span></p> <p><span>We’ve seen a similar shift in the UK, where mayoral elections are decided with a supplementary vote. Voters are allowed to select their first and second choice, with second choices considered if no single candidate achieves 50%.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Is this a shift worth noting?</span></strong></p> <p><span>There are two answers. Yes, it’s worth noting because it shows that in more recently founded elections, a different voting system has been chosen. And no, because it shows – despite favouring different voting systems when given the choice – the UK doesn’t seem willing to change for general elections.</span></p> <p><span>Why? It’s down to the government and parliament to instigate a possible change. And, to quote a common idiom, that’s like getting the turkeys to vote for Christmas. An elected MP is unlikely to vote in favour of a system that puts their position at risk. It did become a hot topic in the run up to the 2010 election, however.</span></p> <p><span>With the expenses scandal looming, Labour pledged a referendum on switching to the Alternative vote, but were unsuccessful in the election. The Liberal Democrats managed to negotiate a referendum in 2011 as part of their coalition with the Conservatives, but the issue fizzled out with </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/may/06/reasons-av-referendum-lost" target="_blank">no major party fully dedicated</a></span><span> to the new system.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><strong><span>Keeping up to date</span></strong></p> <p><span>Advancing and improving can help ensure election results are more reliable and – above all else – more democratic. And this extends beyond voting systems. Halarose provides clients with efficient electoral software at the forefront of the industry. From registration management to electronic voting systems, our services offer secure and accurate solutions for local councils across the UK. If you need assistance with election management, electoral registration or training, </span><span><a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">get in touch with our team</a></span><span> to see how we can help.</span></p> Halarose | UK Parliamentary Elections | First Past the Post | The Netherlands | Australia | India | Cannda | The United States | Government | Parliament | Lib Dems | Labour | Conservatives | Expenses Scandal |
Is Political Polling Losing Its Touch? In the lead up to every election and referendum, pollsters try to gauge the nation’s voting intention. How? They do it by surveying a relatively small sample of the public – usually in the thousands – who they feel are representative of the nation as a whole. And for the most part, historically, they’ve got it right. However, some elections in the past decade have thrown up surprises for the pollsters. Read on as we explore whether political polling is still the reliable barometer it used to be. 27/06/2017 /media/1545/24.jpg Is Political Polling Losing Its Touch? <p><span>In the lead up to every election and referendum, pollsters try to gauge the nation’s voting intention. How? They do it by surveying a relatively small sample of the public – usually in the thousands – who they feel are representative of the nation as a whole. And for the most part, historically, they’ve got it right. However, some elections in the past decade have thrown up surprises for the pollsters. Read on as we explore whether political polling is still the reliable barometer it used to be.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Modern day hiccups</span></strong></p> <p><span>Going into the 21<sup>st</sup> century, pollsters did pretty well. They correctly predicted a Labour government in 2001 and the same again in 2005, accurately forecasting the reduced majority. In 2010, however, they predicted quite firmly that the Conservatives would win – so it was a shock to most in the UK when they woke to a hung parliament.</span></p> <p><span>The hiccups continued in 2015, when pollsters suggested a narrow lead for the Conservatives, probably requiring another coalition. The result was a Conservative majority, albeit just six seats. Then to the EU referendum in 2016. Not strictly an election, it was predicted to lean towards Remain by an average of around 5 percent in the week before the vote. That didn’t translate on June 24<sup>rd</sup>, however, when we saw a lead of 3.8 percent for Leave.</span></p> <p><span>Most recently, the polls were – by and large – proven wrong when Theresa May’s snap election ended in a hung parliament. Only Survation and YouGov predicted a similar result, with others suggesting a reduced but sizeable gap of around 8 percent.</span></p> <p><span>Over in the states, the polls have seen a similar hint of unreliability. Hillary Clinton lead in almost every pre-election poll, but it was Trump who triumphed in late 2016.</span></p> <p><span>So, what can we read into this trend of polling inaccuracies?</span></p> <p><strong><span>The end goal for polls</span></strong></p> <p><span>To assess the efficiency of opinion polls, we need to look at their actual purpose. Sometimes, they can’t accurately predict elections – but are they intended to do so in the first place? The answer is no. Opinion polls are a way of gauging public opinion. As long as they’re not taken too seriously, they can give a decent idea of the broad picture.</span></p> <p><span>In weeks leading up to the 2017 General Election, for instance, the polls displayed a surge in support for Labour. Some might argue that it was up to political commentators to use this to predict the hung parliament. Instead, they took the numbers at face value and saw it as an outright Conservative lead.</span></p> <p><span>By reflecting the final results on a number of occasions, opinion polls have gained a reputation as an election forecast. Essentially, they’re a victim of their own success, and have become relied upon quite heavily by the media to predict election outcomes. In the words of many politicians from all sides – there’s only one poll that counts and it’s the one that takes place on election day.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Over to you</span></strong></p> <p><span>We’d love to hear what you think about opinion polls. Are they relied upon too much? Or do you think they need to up their game? The political landscape is always changing, so maybe it’s time they adapted and took on their new role as election forecasters? Whatever you think, be sure to give us your polling opinion in the comments section below.</span></p> Halarose | Political Polling | Labour | Conservatives | Theresa May | Hilary Clinton | Donald Trump | Opinion polls | General Election | Hung Parliament |
Two Alternatives to the UK’s ‘First Past the Post’ Voting System The 2017 General Election was decided using the First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system. It’s been used in Britain for well over 100 years. And we’re not alone. It’s also the choice for the US, Canada and India as well as a whole host of smaller countries worldwide. But it’s often criticised for failing to give a fair representation of voters’ selections. And are the other systems fairer? And how would they have affected the 2017 result? Read on as we look at two alternatives to FPTP. 19/06/2017 /media/1546/23-01.jpg Two Alternatives to the UK’s ‘First Past the Post’ Voting System <p>The 2017 General Election was decided using the First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system. It’s been used in Britain for well over 100 years. And we’re not alone. It’s also the choice for the US, Canada and India as well as a whole host of smaller countries worldwide. But it’s often criticised for failing to give a fair representation of voters’ selections. And are the other systems fairer? And how would they have affected the 2017 result? Read on as we look at two alternatives to FPTP.</p> <p><strong>Problems with FPTP</strong></p> <p>FPTP, quite simply, means that in each constituency, the candidate with the most votes wins and other votes are disregarded. It’s easy to understand, quick to process and gives voters a clear way to indicate who they want to govern. However, the system also has a number of disadvantages:</p> <ul> <li>Lots of votes are wasted</li> <li>MPs can win without a majority of voters backing them</li> <li>Small parties with votes spread across several constituencies don’t tend to win many (if any) individual seats</li> <li>Voters sometimes resort to tactical voting to oppose their least favourite candidate</li> </ul> <p><strong>Alternative Voting</strong></p> <p>Quite aptly, the most popular alternative is the Alternative Vote (AV) system. Voters rank candidates in order of preference – 1 for first choice, 2 for second, and so on, leaving out those they don’t wish to express any preference for. Candidates win if they gain a majority – over 50 percent – of first choice votes. If nobody gets this, the candidate with the least first choice votes is eliminated. The second choices from these ballot papers are then taken into account.</p> <p>This goes on until a candidate has half of the votes. It reduces wasted votes, because those who cast losing votes can still contribute to the outcome. AV could have changed the result in 2017 drastically. If voters for minor opposition parties, like the Greens and Lib Dems, had put Labour as their second choice, for example, we might well have been looking at a majority Labour government on June 9<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p><strong>Proportional representation</strong></p> <p>There are other alternatives though. Some people find fault with both AV and FPTP because neither solves the problem of fair representation. Small parties with their votes spread across the country are ‘let down’ by both these systems, according to critics. An example often cited is that of UKIP, who received 3,881,129 votes in 2015 but gained only one seat. In the same election, the SNP got 56 seats from just 1,454,436 votes.</p> <p>A popular way to achieve proportional representation (PR) are party list systems, used in a number of European countries like Germany, Italy and Denmark. In these systems, voters choose a party rather than individual candidates. It’s up to the party or public to select who serves as representatives afterwards. Of course, there is usually a minimum threshold to avoid seats being allocated to a party just because they gained 1 percent of the vote.</p> <p>The biggest issue for these systems, however, is deciding how many seats are allocated to parties following the vote. How do you give a party 26.7% of the seats if this is their share of the vote? Several different methods, such as the d’Hondt formula, Saint-Lague method and Droop quota, are used around the world.</p> <p>So how would PR have changed the result of the 2017 General Election? Well, the Conservatives achieved just 2.4% more votes than Labour, but were awarded 56 (8.6%) more seats. With PR, this 2.4% would likely put them around 16-20 seats ahead.</p> <p><strong>Can we help?</strong></p> <p>If you’re looking for an innovative, versatile and secure way to conduct local or institutional elections, we can help. At Idox Elections, we provide<span> </span><span><a data-udi="umb://document/6f903e6951924857b7699b01572376f8" href="/about-us/" title="About Us">advanced electoral software</a></span><span> </span>to customers around the UK. With an outstanding support service, we can give you the reliable solution you need.<span> </span><span><a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">Get in touch</a></span><span> </span>for more information – we can’t wait to hear from you.</p> Halarose | First Past the Post | General Election 2017 | Alternative Vote | Lib Dems | The Greens | UKIP | Labour Government | SNP | Conserviatives | Germany | Italy | Denmark |
Latest General Election News on Twitter With fewer people finding time to read their daily newspaper, the Twittersphere is fast becoming the most popular source of news. Updates are instant, easy to access and wide ranging. The problem is filtering out the irrelevant (and even fake) news stories. 02/06/2017 /media/1547/22-01.jpg Latest General Election News on Twitter <h4><strong><span>6 Twitter Accounts to Follow for the Latest General Election News</span></strong></h4> <p>With fewer people finding time to read their daily newspaper, the Twittersphere is fast becoming the most popular source of news. Updates are instant, easy to access and wide ranging. The problem is filtering out the irrelevant (and even fake) news stories. </p> <p>With the general election only days away, access to accurate, trustworthy news sources is more important than ever. Read on for our six favourite Twitter accounts for reliable general election news.</p> <ol> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/ElectoralCommUK" target="_blank">The Electoral Commission @ElectoralCommUK</a></li> </ol> <p>The Electoral Commission is the independent body in charge of elections in the UK. They provide essential information about voter registration, how you can vote and when you should vote, as well as some handy resources to help you find who’s standing in your local area.</p> <ol start="2"> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/BBCPolitics" target="_blank">BBC Politics @BBCPolitics</a></li> </ol> <p>The BBC aims to give all parties a fair say in elections. Impartiality is one of their main selling points. And their dedicated political Twitter account is the best place to see it all. Follow them for instant updates on all the parties’ conferences, speeches and policies.</p> <ol start="3"> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/FactCheck" target="_blank">C4 News FactCheck @FactCheck</a></li> </ol> <p>With all the policy promises and smear campaigns, it can be hard to find a source of news that remains impartial. Channel 4’s<span> </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck" target="_blank">FactCheck</a></span>aims to do just that. With an analysis of cold, hard facts, the C4 team aim to look beyond the soundbites and provide some clarity.</p> <ol start="4"> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/britainelects?lang=en" target="_blank">Britain Elects @britainelects</a></li> </ol> <p>The polls are a good way to keep up with how parties or candidates are doing. They provide an insight into voting intention and highlight the public’s opinion on a range of policies. But no one poll should be used as a predictor of the results. Britain Elects is a poll aggregator, sharing the latest polling results from all providers as well as a useful polling average update.</p> <ol start="5"> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/theresa_may" target="_blank">Theresa May @theresa_may</a></li> </ol> <p>As well as getting all the impartial news and statistics, it’s worth keeping up to date with what the candidates themselves are saying. Theresa May posts regular updates from the campaign trail as well as clips from election broadcasts, interviews and speeches.</p> <ol start="6"> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/jeremycorbyn" target="_blank">Jeremy Corbyn @jeremycorbyn</a></li> </ol> <p>Of course, it’s important to get both sides of the story. The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, regularly posts similar updates to the PM, as well as sharing posts from members of his shadow cabinet and information on key policies. To get a broader picture, you might also want to follow leaders of the other main opposition parties –<span> </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/NicolaSturgeon" target="_blank">Nicola Sturgeon</a>, <a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/timfarron" target="_blank">Tim Farron</a></span><span>, </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/LeanneWood" target="_blank">Leanne Wood</a></span><span>, </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/CarolineLucas" target="_blank">Caroline Lucas</a></span><span> </span>and<span> </span><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/paulnuttallukip" target="_blank">Paul Nuttall</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>Anything we’ve missed?</strong></p> <p>These general election experts should give you all the information you need in the next few days. We’ve tried to cover all of the bases to keep you in the know, but we’re always keen to hear suggestions. If you know any other great accounts for the latest election news, let us know in the comments section.</p> Halarose | General Election | Twitter | Electoral Commission | BBC Politics | FactCheck | Channel 4 News | Britain Elects | Theresa May | Jeremy Corbyn | Nicola Sturgeon |
Turnout woes: how can a country get people voting? With voter registration deadline for the June general election approaching within a few hours, it is interesting to follow the numbers and see an overall increase in registered voters (https://www.gov.uk/performance/register-to-vote). However we are still due to see what the actual voter turnout on 8th June will be. 22/05/2017 /media/1550/21.jpg Turnout woes: how can a country get people voting? <p><span>With voter registration deadline for the June general election approaching within a few hours, it is interesting to follow the numbers and see an overall increase in registered voters (</span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gov.uk/performance/register-to-vote" target="_blank">https://www.gov.uk/performance/register-to-vote</a><span>). However we are still due to see what the actual voter turnout on 8<sup>th</sup> June will be.</span></p> <p><span>Voting is the very basis of a democracy. A high voter turnout is the best guarantee of a decision that reflects a nation's - or, indeed any other group's - real desires.  Yet countries across the world (including the US and UK) suffer from lacklustre voter turnouts. The United Kingdom spoke of ‘bumper’ turnouts for the 2015 election – and indeed, it was the highest in 18 years – but 66.1% (or two-third of the people who were allowed to vote) isn’t fantastic in the grand scheme of things. The United States have similar problems, with only 58% of eligible voters turning out for one of the most controversial elections in the nation’s history last year.</span></p> <p><span>Why are some countries struggling to get voters to the booths - and how can it be changed?</span></p> <p><strong><span>Should voting be compulsory?</span></strong></p> <p><span>According to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Singapore tops the chart for voter turnout, with an exceptional 93.6% turnout at the country’s most recent (2015) parliamentary election. Next on the list is Australia, who reached 93.2% in 2013.</span></p> <p><span>Those two countries have something obvious in common: voting is compulsory in general elections. All citizens (except some who live overseas) are required to cast a vote.</span></p> <p><span>This has pros and cons. On the down side, it does lead to higher incidences of spoilt ballots (Australia’s last election saw 5.9% of ballots spoiled, compared with the UK’s 0.2%). In addition, reluctant or uninformed voters may be simply ticking a random candidate to get their vote over and done with.</span></p> <p><span>On the other hand, the fact that more disinterested citizens are more or less forced to the ballots means that it’s easier to get an accurate view of what the country wants: it isn’t just the ‘politically engaged’ who are putting their opinions across.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Could we make voting more convenient?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Market research conducted among 2,000 UK non-voters in 2015 suggested that two-thirds of respondents would be 'more likely' to vote if they were able to do so online, according to research company Survation.</span></p> <p><span>Another way to get the public to the polls could be to turn voting days into national holidays. Trying to fit in a dull and lengthy trip to vote after (or before) a long day’s work is likely to put off many citizens from bothering.</span></p> <p><strong><span>How do we connect with the public?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Sweden is another country with a great voter turnout (85.8% in 2014). In Sweden, though, voting is not compulsory. So how do they do it?</span></p> <p><span>The Scandinavian country puts a huge focus on making the public feel connected with the democratic process. They set up ‘democracy centres’ in some cities, offering free education and a chance for discussion. Some towns created little ‘democracy passports’ to hand out to first-time voters, detailing the process of voting and why it is important.</span></p> <p><span>Another way to connect is to open up a dialogue with the group least likely to vote: young people. Schools should be placing greater emphasis on the importance of democracy and - perhaps even more importantly - the process of democracy in their country. After all, young people aren't likely to be interested in something they don't understand.</span></p> Halarose | General Election 2017 | Democracy | Singapore | Sweden | IDEA | Australia | Young People |
Domino effect of challenges created by snap election No Prime Minister will ever walk into Number 10 Downing Street expecting to enjoy a peaceful, quiet day, but Theresa May’s brief tenure as Britain’s leader has already been as eventful as many PMs who have held office for years. 15/05/2017 /media/1552/20.jpeg Domino effect of challenges created by snap election <p>No Prime Minister will ever walk into Number 10 Downing Street expecting to enjoy a peaceful, quiet day, but Theresa May’s brief tenure as Britain’s leader has already been as eventful as many PMs who have held office for years.</p> <p>Since her inauguration last July, May has conducted a ruthless reshuffling of her Cabinet, triggered Article 50 to begin Britain’s departure from the European Union, engaged in Brexit negotiations, and attracted controversy for her work with divisive President Donald Trump. But in spite of all of the above, May’s most impactful move to date remains her call for a snap election in June 2017 – something which has not been done in the United Kingdom since the 1970s.</p> <p>May had previously indicated that she would not be prepared to call an early general election, which made her public declaration on 18<sup>th</sup>April all the more surprising. Many eyebrows were raised at the announcement, but after the initial shock and awe had subsided, attention turned towards the ramifications that the early general election would have for the country – not just in terms of which party would take the majority of seats, but also the effect it would inevitably have on both current and planned UK legislation, as well as political protocols.</p> <p>May has argued that the snap election is the "only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead". While this could turn out to be true, there is no escaping the temporary commotion that will be caused by the sudden reorganisation of numerous policies. The challenge that Theresa May now faces is to contain this commotion so the snap election does not degenerate into turmoil, and there is a considerable amount of work currently going on behind the scenes as the British political landscape experiences one of its biggest earthquakes in recent times.</p> <p><strong>Boundary Changes</strong></p> <p>While political parties and the public have been forced to revaluate their plans and promptly prepare for an unexpected campaign, the unrest caused by the snap election also stretches into the upper echelons of the administrative province – with the revolutionary proposed boundary changes for parliamentary constituencies set to be scrapped.</p> <p>In September 2016,<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/" target="_blank">the Boundary Commission</a><span> </span>announced formal plans that suggested the face of politics in Britain was set to change forever, cutting 650 constituencies to 600 and reducing the number of MPs in the country. Arrangements were in place for these changes to be evaluated, tabled and integrated in time for the next general election in 2020, but the snap election means that they may never actually happen – at least not in the format that was initially proposed back in September.</p> <p>With the call for an early general, one of the most noteworthy electoral map modifications in British history has suddenly been removed and rendered irrelevant – at least for the time being. The next time we will see boundary changes at all will be in 2022, which is considerably later than initially anticipated.</p> <p><strong>Government Bills</strong></p> <p>Like the proposed boundary changes, there are number of government bills that will never pass or see the light of day again because of a combination of both the snap election and Brexit procedures.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prisons-and-courts-bill-what-it-means-for-you" target="_blank">The Prisons &amp; Courts Bill</a><span> </span>proposed by Michael Gove has already been shelved, with the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-government-finance-bill-overview" target="_blank">Local Government Finance Bill</a><span> </span>and<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/vehicle-technology-and-aviation-bill" target="_blank">Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill</a><span> </span>also being put to one side until the new parliament has been officially elected after June 8<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p>The National Funding Formula – which involved plans to redistribute education funding in a more effective and balanced way – had already been pushed back prior to the snap election and is now facing further delays, with schools fearing that they may never benefit from what appeared to be a very attractive proposal.</p> <p>Mayoral elections around the country have not been completely unaffected by the early general, but have been allowed to go ahead nonetheless. What remains uncertain for the time being is whether further devolution deals are set to occur in the coming weeks and months.</p> <p><strong>Organising the Snap Election</strong></p> <p>Aside from the effect on legislation, policies, and bills, the snap election has also caused considerable unrest in the employment sector. Around 120,000 people were employed to help arrange the 2015 general election, and cobbling together this many workers at twice the speed in such a short space of time has, unsurprisingly, proven to be a real challenge.</p> <p>Venues and buildings that ordinarily double as polling stations have been forced to reshuffle schedules to make themselves available for June 8<sup>th</sup>, whilst administration teams have been scrambling to recruit electoral workers to operate the polling venues themselves.</p> <p>Lobbyists and party representatives are being forced to double down on their already hectic work schedules in order to cultivate the right image for their respective political alliances, with staff members of every party pouring blood, sweat, and tears into their roles right up until the final polls take place in June.</p> <p>The media have also been stirred by the announcement of the snap election, with news outlets engaged in the process of rearranging broadcast schedules to ensure there will be resources and availability for comprehensive round-the-clock coverage of the one of the most momentous polls in recent memory.</p> <p><strong>Influence on Voters</strong></p> <p>As the most recent general election took place in 2015, the British public were not expecting another until 2020. However, May calling a snap election for June 2017 means that the next general will now be postponed and is unlikely to take place until 2022.</p> <p>There have also been concerns that calling an election at such breakneck speed will influence the overall voter turnout. The UK remains distinctly divided and unsure of its political allegiances, and many may simply elect not to vote because they do not feel as though they trust any party well enough to justify lending their support. Some members of the education sector have also voiced their concerns about a low student turnout for the early general, with suspicions that students cannot invest themselves properly in the current political climate as they were engrossed in revision and exams when the snap election was called. The argument is that students may not have the time or inclination to vote on such short notice.</p> <p>It is clear that the UK is going to be a strained, nervy place from now right up until June 8<sup>th</sup><span> </span>and beyond. It remains to be seen whether calling a snap election will benefit the country overall, but given the frantic nature of the reorganisation and re-evaluation, nobody in the political climate has the energy or time to be concerned about that now. All that matters is being prepared for next month.</p> Halarose | Snap Election | Downing Street | Theresa May | Donald Trump | Boundary Changes | Government Bills | Voters | Boundary Commission | The Prisons & Courts Bill | Local Government Finance Bill | Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill |
Election Trainer is going live for UKPGE today Election Trainer, the most widely-trusted online training programme for polling station staff in the UK, is going live today. 12/05/2017 /media/1553/arena-advert-may2-twitter-01-01.jpg Election Trainer is going live for UKPGE today <p>Election Trainer, the most widely-trusted online training programme for polling station staff in the UK, is going live today.</p> <p>It’s still not too late to place an order – whether it’s for all polling station staff, just for POs or PCs, or simply as a supplement to face-to-face training.</p> <p>To find out more about<span> </span>Election Trainer<span> </span>– and why so many local authorities have used it since 2012 – just <a rel="noopener" data-udi="umb://document/50065044e546488fbcd6effdbe839b0c" href="/solutions/election-trainer/" target="_blank" title="Election Trainer">click here.</a><span> </span> </p> <p>You can also <a data-udi="umb://document/e37a8b08c96d4ae1b8467919a3f27208" href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">contact us here</a><span> </span>for more information or to receive a free trial licence.</p> Halarose | Election Trainer | UKPGE | Polling station staff | United Kingdom |
Idox delivers local elections success across Scotland Idox has once again proven itself as a trusted partner to local authorities across the UK following last week’s local elections. 08/05/2017 Idox delivers local elections success across Scotland <p>Idox has once again proven itself as a trusted partner to local authorities across the UK following last week’s local elections. Delivering electoral services to all 32 Scottish councils, the Idox Elections team offered support and expertise via a range of solutions including print services, postal vote management and e-counting software.</p> <p>Here are just some of the highlights that demonstrate the work involved in delivering the successful Scottish local elections:</p> <ul> <li>2.1 million poll cards printed and dispatched</li> <li>43,000 ballot books printed and dispatched</li> <li>773,000 postal packs printed and dispatched</li> <li>All of the above catering for an electorate in Scotland of 4.3 million</li> </ul> <p>These latest local elections provided Idox with a second opportunity to supply an effective e-Counting system to the Scottish Government, with the first completed count announced as Orkney Islands at 9:35am following the 4<sup>th</sup><span> </span>May election day, demonstrating the speed and accuracy of utilising such a service. While a manual Single Transferable Vote (STV) count can take days, the Idox eCount software scans ballots in hours and calculations take just minutes.</p> <p>Idox is a chosen partner to deliver Scottish Local Government elections and by-elections until 2021.</p> <p>Of course, the Election team’s remit goes beyond local elections – our work in this area has served a voting population of more than 13 million across the UK and overseas for over 23 years.</p> <p>As the country looks ahead to the 8<sup>th</sup><span> </span>June General Election, we look forward to ensuring that our customer base of over 80 local authorities navigate a smooth path to elections success.</p> <p>Let the countdown begin!</p> Idox Elections | Scotland | Scottish Government | Electoral Services | Poll Cards | Ballot Books | Print | Postal Packs | e-Counting | eCounting | By-elections | STV | Single Transferable Voting | General Election 2017 | GE2017 |
Will boundary changes still play a role after the GE2017? Theresa May’s snap election has thrown a spanner in the works of the conventional political calendar (intentionally so, if you were to believe her opposition). Whilst the announcement to hold a general election in June has ruffled feathers among UK political parties and indeed the public, it has also actively affected recent propositions that were initially assembled under the assumption that the next election would take place in 2020. One notable example is the constitution boundary changes. 08/05/2017 /media/1554/19-01.jpg Will boundary changes still play a role after the GE2017? <p><span>Theresa May’s snap election has thrown a spanner in the works of the conventional political calendar (intentionally so, if you were to believe her opposition). Whilst the announcement to hold a general election in June has ruffled feathers among UK political parties and indeed the public, it has also actively affected recent propositions that were initially assembled under the assumption that the next election would take place in 2020. One notable example is the constitution boundary changes.</span></p> <p><span>In September 2016, the </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bce2018.org.uk/" target="_blank"><span>Boundary Commission</span></a><span> published documents that suggested the electoral map of Britain was set for an overhaul and revamp, with propositions for as many as 50 constituencies to be slashed in a major redrawing project. This would cut the number of MPs in the country from 650 to 600, with England losing 32 constituencies, Wales losing 11, Scotland losing 6, and Northern Ireland losing 1.</span></p> <p><span>The constituency changes involved in a high number of major political players, with Jeremy Corbyn, Ed Miliband, Caroline Lucas, Boris Johnson, and Jeremy Hunt all expecting to see their constituencies carved up, split, or decimated completely.</span></p> <p><span>However, the snap election has meant that the proposed electoral map modifications will not be in effect for the next general election as initially expected, and this raises a number of interesting questions.</span></p> <p><strong><span>If they aren’t happening now, when will the boundary changes take place?</span></strong></p> <p><span>This depends on who wins the general election on 8<sup>th</sup> June this year. The early suggestions indicated by polls seem to imply that the Tories will emerge victorious and, if so, Theresa May’s party will be forced to reintroduce the proposed boundary changes following the 2017 vote. It is likely that they will then attempt to implement them in time for the next general election – which probably won’t be until 2022. If any other party is voted into power in June, they will have the opportunity to reassess the boundaries and incorporate their own version into their manifesto.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Will the boundary changes ever happen?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Now that the snap election has been called, many are beginning to question whether the constituency alterations proposed back in September will ever actually take place. The answer is difficult to determine at present, but it is very possible that (regardless of what happens in the general election) they will not happen in the exact format and fashion that was suggested by the Boundary Commission during Autumn of last year.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What will happen in the meantime?</span></strong></p> <p><span>The snap election means that the total number of MPs in the country is unlikely to be reduced for some time – if ever. Instead, the Conservatives are expected to draw up a policy that suggests equalisation of the current constituencies, rather than separation and removal.</span></p> <p><span>The boundary vicissitudes that threatened to change British politics forever are not likely to happen anytime soon, but we will have a much clearer picture of what is happening with regards to existing constituencies once the dust has settled after the 2017 election. </span></p> Halarose | General Election 2017 | Snap Election | Boundary Changes | GE2017 | Boundary Commission |
UKPGE – Election Trainer In the hours since the announcement of the UK general election, we’ve been inundated with queries about the availability of Election Trainer, our market-leading online training module for polling station staff, for the election on 8 June 2017. 19/04/2017 /media/1556/17-01.jpg UKPGE – Election Trainer <p>In the hours since the announcement of the UK general election, we’ve been inundated with queries about the availability of<span> </span><a data-udi="umb://document/50065044e546488fbcd6effdbe839b0c" href="/solutions/election-trainer/" title="Election Trainer">Election Trainer</a>, our market-leading online training module for polling station staff, for the election on 8 June 2017.</p> <p>We can confirm that<span> </span>Election Trainer will be available for use at the forthcoming UK general election. With only seven weeks for you to plan, prepare and deliver a UK general election, we’re pleased to be able to take care of one significant area of work for you – training polling station staff.</p> <p>We expect to have the training module available shortly after the elections on 4 May, ensuring trainees have plenty of time to complete their training and assessments – even with the short timescales involved with this snap election.</p> <p>Election Trainer is the most trusted online training module available in the UK and has been used by over 64,000 polling station staff since its release in 2012 – including over 12,000 at the UK general election in 2015 alone.</p> <p>It has proven to be hugely popular amongst electoral administrators, with 97% of users saying it saved them time compared to planning and delivering face-to-face training. These time savings will be particularly crucial this year given the short timescales associated with the election on 8 June.</p> <p>Election Trainer<span> </span>is also highly valued by trainees – in our latest survey 94% of polling station staff said that it gave them the necessary skills for election day, with 98% stating that the training was presented in an interactive and easy to digest way. </p> <p>Furthermore, all costs associated with the use of<span> </span>Election Trainer<span> </span>at the forthcoming UK general election can be reclaimed under the Fees and Charges Order.</p> <p>For more information about<span> </span>Election Trainer<span> </span>please visit<span> </span><a rel="noopener" data-udi="umb://document/50065044e546488fbcd6effdbe839b0c" href="/solutions/election-trainer/" target="_blank" title="Election Trainer">the product page</a><span> </span>or contact the team at <a href="mailto:elections.sales@idoxgroup.com">elections.sales@idoxgroup.com</a>. Free trial licences are also available upon request.</p> Halarose | Election Trainer | UKPGE | GE2017 | Training | Polling station staff | Fees and charges order |
Why don't young people vote in elections? In the 2015 general election, 66.4% of the UK electorate turned up to the polls, meaning that two-thirds of the people who were qualified to do so voted. However, among 18 to 24-year-olds, this 04/04/2017 /media/1558/15-01.jpg Why don't young people vote in elections? <p><span>In the 2015 general election, 66.4% of the UK electorate turned up to the polls, meaning that two-thirds of the people who were qualified to do so voted. However, among 18 to 24-year-olds, this turnout figure was only 58%. It was a similar story in the 2016 EU referendum: an overall turnout figure of 72% trumped the number of young people voting - only 64% of 18 to 24-year-olds turned up to the ballot boxes, in stark contrast to the 90% of over-65s who voted.</span> </p> <p><span>Although young turnout figures are up compared to the 2001, 2005 and 2010 elections, there is still more that could be done to encourage students and young adults to vote. So, why aren't young people engaging with the democratic process and how can this be changed?</span></p> <p><strong><span>Voter apathy</span></strong></p> <p><span>One theory is that young people are apathetic towards politics: they simply don't care. Some millennials may not be convinced that voting is all that important in a political landscape where many of the parties are socially liberal and centrist in terms of the economy. </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/wpl/projects/voting/background" target="_blank">A paper</a><span> by Warwick University weighed up the voting process in terms of benefits and costs to young people. Although the costs - hassle, registering to vote etc. - were relatively minimal, the paper found that young people were unlikely to see their vote as making a difference and most voted purely for emotional reasons - so they could say "it's good to take part in the democratic process" or "at least I voted", for example. For those who aren't too bothered by this, there's no real reason to participate.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Voter antipathy</span></strong></p> <p><span>Younger people tend to be more radical in their political views and some may have a deep-seated aversion to mainstream political figures. The 2008 election of Barack Obama was meant to be a vote for 'hope', but nearly a decade on, nothing appears to have really changed for young people in the US.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Political parties don't address the needs of young people</span></strong></p> <p><span>In his </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.electionanalysis.uk/uk-election-analysis-2015/section-2-voters/bringing-out-the-youth-vote-young-people-and-the-2015-general-election/" target="_blank">analysis</a><span> of the 2015 general election, political scientist Dr James Sloam looked at the manifestos of the six major UK parties and discovered that mentions of 'young people' in these 100+ page dossiers was virtually negligible. The Green Party came out on top, with 35 mentions of the term, with Labour and the Conservatives next on 30 and 21 respectively. UKIP, meanwhile, came bottom of the table with just five mentions of 'young people'. Although the Greens had a specific chapter of their manifesto dedicated to youth policy, political parties can often seem to be pandering to middle-aged and older people, making younger adults less inclined to vote.</span></p> <p><strong><span>How can young people be encouraged to vote?</span></strong></p> <p><span>In most studies and articles, it is identified that young people need to understand the difference voting makes, and some have suggested that politics be introduced as a mandatory part of the national curriculum. Online voting seems like a powerful tool in increasing youth engagement as well.  But these ideas aside, research shows that young people don't vote because political parties aren't offering them anything worth voting for, so maybe a more structural change is required.</span></p> Halarose | Young People | GE2015 | millenials | Warwick University | The Green Party | Conservatives | Barack Obama | The United States | Labour | UKIP |
The increasing influence of social media in UK elections The UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the United States’ election of Donald Trump as president caused shockwaves on both sides of the Atlantic in 2016, but was there more to those campaigns than it seemed? 27/03/2017 The increasing influence of social media in UK elections <p>The UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the United States’ election of Donald Trump as president caused shockwaves on both sides of the Atlantic in 2016, but was there more to those campaigns than it seemed?</p> <p>ICO has made an announcement about “conducting a wide assessment of the data-protection risks arising from the use of data analytics, including for political purposes, and will be contacting a range of organisations,” said an ICO spokeswoman. “We intend to publicise our findings later this year.”</p> <p>This has raised a debate about how much can the public actually be influenced by social media and political campaigns that use the platforms.</p> <p>Trump stated as far back as October 2012 that: "My twitter has become so powerful that I can actually make my enemies tell the truth." His many "enemies" would doubtless respond that he thinks his tweets are so powerful that he sees no need to tell the truth. Whichever point of view may be valid, there is no doubt that the 2016 US presidential election results owed something to the evolving power of social media to influence public opinion.</p> <p>Dominic Cummings, campaign director of Canadian firm AggregateIQ, confirmed that their Facebook campaign leading up to the EU Referendum was highly successful and so would also have influenced the way many people voted on 23<sup>rd</sup><span> </span>June.</p> <p>The fact that this was the case in 2016 was reinforced by an earlier Pew Research Centre study, back in 2014 that claimed 61% of millennials were sourcing their political news from Facebook. <span>(See </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.sj-r.com/entertainmentlife/20160829/social-media-plays-more-important-role-in-2016-election" target="_blank">here</a><span> and </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/11/03/cell-phones-social-media-and-campaign-2014/" target="_blank">here</a><span>).</span></p> <p><strong>Social media in UK elections</strong></p> <p>As far as elections in the UK are concerned, the 2010 general election was billed as "the people's election" by the Independent, who believed that the result would demonstrate how social media platforms could hand power back to the people in a modern democracy.</p> <p>It is doubtful that this actually happened then, but by 2013 bold claims were being advanced concerning the upcoming elections of 2015. In November 2013, Labour election strategist, Douglas Alexander,<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/22/social-media-election-campaign-labour" target="_blank">told The Guardian</a><span> </span>that social media would be a 'priceless' tool in the election campaign. Shortly afterwards,<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25003575" target="_blank">the BBC wondered</a><span> </span>if 2015 would be the ‘first really digital general election in the UK.’ The<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/18/twitter-vital-tool-general-election" target="_blank">Guardian reported</a><span> </span>that, according to Twitter's own research data, "One in three 18 to 34 year-old users had changed their vote from one party to another, 47% had reconsidered their views on a specific issue based on what they’d seen on the site, and 20% said they were still undecided about how they planned to vote."</p> <p><strong>Social media hype</strong></p> <p>Not everyone agreed: many commentators lamented the paucity of serious, informed political comment on Twitter. In February 2015,<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/1331245/digital-will-shape-political-party-campaigns-2015-election?src_site=marketingmagazine" target="_blank">Saatchi and Saatchi's</a><span> </span>chief strategy officer insisted that the political impact of social media was "massively overrated" and YouGov's founder, Stephan Shakespeare, sneered that social media strategies were inadequate and that ‘parties are using social media to deliver leaflets.’</p> <p><strong>Towards 2020</strong></p> <p>Indeed, in<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.electionanalysis.uk/uk-election-analysis-2015/section-6-social-media/the-politics-of-social-media/" target="_blank">Dr Allen Charles' study</a>, "The Politics of Social Media," he asks in conclusion: "Had social media fostered interactive nation-building consensus or merely trivialized, personalized, fragmented and negativized the deliberations of public sphere?" </p> <p>Furthermore, a 2015<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/publication/getting-engaged-relationship-between-traditional-new-media-and-electorate-during-2015-uk" target="_blank">report</a><span> </span>by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism examined whether social media really had so much of an impact. The report's author, Colin Byrne, pointed out that the evidence suggested that traditional media, particularly broadcast, was more influential during those elections. However, he posited that the way all media were developing digital relationships to secure major audience share could ensure greater social media influence in 2020: “If social media users continue to grow as an audience, and digital natives establish key roles among news outlets, the general election in 2020 will look very different. It could be much more of a social media election.”</p> <p>It would seem that all those involved in modern elections are going to need to take the potential future impact of social media on election outcomes very seriously.</p> <p>See also:<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/news/social-media-and-2015-general-election" target="_blank">http://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/news/social-media-and-2015-general-election</a></p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/IdoxElections" target="_blank"><em>@IdoxElections</em></a></p>
Edinburgh Community Council champions Idox e-voting Leith Links – one of 44 Community Councils within the City of Edinburgh – recently went to the polls to elect 12 members from 17 candidates. Having previously worked together, Edinburgh partnered with Idox Elections once again to deliver their 2016 elections, which included the provision of print services for poll cards and e-voting. 08/03/2017 Edinburgh Community Council champions Idox e-voting <p>Leith Links – one of 44 Community Councils within the City of Edinburgh – recently went to the polls to elect 12 members from 17 candidates.</p> <p>Having previously worked together, Edinburgh partnered with Idox Elections once again to deliver their 2016 elections, which included the provision of print services for poll cards and e-voting.</p> <p>Poll cards with unique voting credentials were delivered to 8,500 electors in Leith Links, providing electors with options to vote online or via the traditional postal pack. By supporting online voting, Idox Elections offers citizens the choice and convenience to vote electronically in a fully-secure environment, at a time and place convenient to them.</p> <p>On polling day, the polling station was equipped with two touch-screen laptops which were securely linked to the voting system,  accommodating those who wanted to vote online but were unable to because they had no internet access at home.</p> <p>Donald Burgess, Postal Voting Manager at City of Edinburgh Council said; “Online voting increased voter participation and results were available for publishing within 15 minutes of polling closing.</p> <p>Throughout the process, the Idox staff were easy to work with and readily demonstrated their professionalism and knowledge.”</p> <p>Idox Elections has over 23 years of experience delivering end-to-end elections solutions. Our team of experts have combined their wealth of experience and knowledge to provide our customers with the high levels of service and quality this specialist sector demands.</p> <p>For further information about our elections portfolio, please browse our full portfolio on the website.</p> Community Council | City of Edinburgh | Scotland | e-vote | evoting | e-voting | evote |
Idox delivers eCount success in Glasgow In a recent local government by-election held in Glasgow, Idox was on hand to provide eCount and Postal Vote Management Services (PVMS). 09/02/2017 Idox delivers eCount success in Glasgow <p>In a recent local government by-election held in Glasgow, Idox was on hand to provide eCount and Postal Vote Management Services (PVMS).<a name="articleStart"></a></p> <p>Scotland adopts the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system, making it possible for the electorate to vote for every candidate in order of preference. This is considerably more complex than the first past the post system where the public votes for just one candidate.</p> <p>Due to this complexity, manual voting in an STV election can take significantly longer and may delay the declaration of the result. With Idox Elections’ e-Counting solution, scanning ballot papers can be achieved in a fraction of the time of manual counting and calculations take just minutes, improving the accuracy and auditability of results.</p> <p><strong>Upcoming work for Idox Elections</strong></p> <p>Off the back of a successful 2016, 2017 is shaping up to be another exciting year for Idox Elections with the delivery of Scottish Local Elections, English Mayoral and County Council Elections.</p> <p>As a trusted elections supplier in Scotland, we have once again been selected to deliver our eCount solution to all 32 local authorities in the Scottish Local Elections. We will also print and deliver all of the ballot books and postal packs for such elections. In addition, our work will extend to produce and provide over 1 million poll cards, as well as deliver our PVMS solution, to over 50 per cent of Scottish local authorities.</p> <p>Would you like to find out more about our dedicated elections services?</p> <p>Please contact <a href="mailto:marketing@idoxgroup.com">marketing@idoxgroup.com</a> for further information.</p> eCount | e-count | eCounting | e-Counting | Glasgow | Elections success | by-elections | Local Elections | Local Authority | Mayoral Elections | PVMS | STV | Single Transferable Voting | Scotland |
Protecting the polls – Government proposals to secure the UK vote Recent media reports have indicated that the Government is preparing new proposals to prevent electoral fraud, including the introduction of ID checks at polling stations. 10/01/2017 Protecting the polls – Government proposals to secure the UK vote <p>Recent media reports have indicated that the Government is preparing new proposals to prevent electoral fraud, including the introduction of ID checks at polling stations.</p> <p>Pilot schemes are expected to be announced early this year, in response to the 2016 report by the Government’s anti-corruption tsar, Sir Eric Pickles.<span> </span>S<em>ecuring the ballot: review into electoral fraud</em><span> </span>recommended changes to the rules on electoral administration which included: requiring voters to produce a passport, driving licence or utility bill as evidence of their identity; nationality checks; and a requirement to use only English or Welsh in polling stations. The full recommendations were covered in Idox’s previous<span> </span>short paper<span> </span>on trust and security in electoral management.</p> <p>The new rules are also expected to ban political campaigners from handing in ballot papers on behalf of postal voters who have missed the deadline.</p> <p><strong>Securing the ballot</strong></p> <p>The proposals have been welcomed by Idox Elections who, for more than two decades, has provided systems to deliver modern democracy in a flexible and trusted manner.</p> <p>Meeting the demands of election officials, candidates and the electorate, Idox Elections provides administrative services to respond to the changing needs of the UK and international electoral services market.</p> <p>The proposed changes will reinforce the systems which Idox has put in place to guard against electoral fraud:</p> <ul> <li>Idox IER provides the tools to manage the process of application verification required to add voters to the electoral register.</li> <li><a data-udi="umb://document/1d541b94429740c1a2f0d561e9a4048c" href="/solutions/postal-vote-checking/" title="Postal Vote Verification Software">Idox software</a> enables Returning Officers to compare 100% of signatures and dates of birth on returned Postal Vote Statements with stored masters. In addition, the system allows Returning Officers to conduct full checks on failed signatures against other postal voters for electors, property, postcode and district.</li> <li>The Idox <a data-udi="umb://document/a33eecfcfe6e4cc69b4e9b2a421a6a24" href="/services/postal-vote-managed-service/" title="Postal Vote Managed Service">Postal Vote Management Solution</a> (PVMS) allows for the scanning and verification of all postal ballot papers and accompanying Postal Vote Statements, to ensure that only authentic votes are put forward for the count. PVMS enables accurate processing of 100% of postal packs issued and detailed reporting to allow councils to submit required returns to the Electoral Commission</li> </ul> <p><strong>Delivering democracy with accuracy and security</strong></p> <p>Voting is one of the most important rights a citizen can hold. As we saw in 2016, choosing where to put an X on a ballot paper – or choosing not to participate – can result in seismic changes that will influence the course of a country for decades to come. It’s important, therefore, that the electorate can put its trust in the way that democratic polls are delivered.  </p> <p>As further challenges emerge, the experienced team at Idox Elections will continue to ensure that democracy is well served with accuracy and security.</p> <p><strong>Want to find out more?</strong><span> </span>Visit our product pages<span> </span>today or meet the team at the 2017 AEA Annual Conference, (5-7 February, Brighton).</p> idox | ID Checks | Electoral fraud | Elections Management | Anti-Corruption | Campaigners | IVR | IER | PVMS |

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