Cities plan to pioneer voting by text message

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Indy Politics

Voters will be able to use mobile phone text messages to back their candidate in May's local elections in an effort to encourage more young people to take part.

Voters will be able to use mobile phone text messages to back their candidate in May's local elections in an effort to encourage more young people to take part.

The scheme, one of a series of trials across England and Wales, that will include postal and digital TV votes, has been inspired in part by votes on television shows such as Pop Idol, which utilise the technology.

Voters in Liverpool and Sheffield will be given pin numbers to use if they want to vote by text message. Other schemes include touch-tone phone votes in Swindon and postal-only votes in Gateshead, north Tyneside, Stevenage and Chorley. The pilots follow a turn-out of less than 60 per cent at last year's general election.

But a commission set up by the Electoral Reform Society warned against rushing into change, to prevent ballot fraud.

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