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Mar 17, 2006

DRS awarded London 2006 e-Counting projects

DRS election count solutions will be used in the London Borough of Lewisham and the City of Westminster for the local and mayoral elections on May 4th 2006. The projects will be assisted by funding from the Department of Constitutional Affairs Electoral Modernisation Programme and will further evaluate the efficiency, security and accuracy of e-Counting technology in the election count process.

The London Borough of Lewisham will be holding a combined borough and mayor election for its 180,000 electorate. Each voter will have two ballot papers with a first and second choice vote for the mayor contest and voting for up to three candidates in their local ward election. Adding to the complexities of this combined election, there will also be a trial of early voting at local supermarkets a week prior to election-day to measure the impact on overall voter turnout. Those voters who have requested to vote by post will continue to be offered this option.

The City of Westminster is also working in partnership with DRS as part of the DCA Electoral Modernisation Program. Westminster is holding elections in all 20 of its wards and its 140,000 electorate will be able to vote for up to three candidates. The trial will include the use of enhanced recognition software, e-enabled signature checking of postal votes and early voting for service voters at military bases in Westminster.

All ballot papers including postal ballot papers and those issued at the polling stations will be produced by DRS and will include two security coded barcodes to ensure the integrity of each ballot paper.

The contracts will see DRS supply full electronic count training to borough staff, as well as provide full project management support prior to and during the count itself. The DRS e-Counting technology will be deployed in two separate count venues in London and will involve ballot verification, adjudication of doubtful ballots, and the production of results for the Returning Officers.

As the only UK designer and manufacturer of e-Counting systems, DRS is able to bring something unique to local authorities – the ability to develop and implement robust and secure technologies to improve the count process in complex elections. DRS election technologies have proven to bring benefits of speed, accuracy and transparency in the election process whilst also providing the ability to reduce the vast amount of human resource needed to manually count complex elections.

DRS has extensive experience of working in partnership with authorities to deliver complex electronic counts quickly, accurately and securely and has managed all-postal and multi-authority counts for many local authority elections. Operating in over 50 countries, DRS’ leading edge technology remains at the forefront of electoral development in the UK and all over the world.