More than two-thirds of respondents are in favour of counting ballots electronically and using electronic ballot marking devices.

Many people in Britain believe their electoral system should be modernized, after hundreds of would-be voters were unable to cast a ballot in the most recent General Election, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

Existing regulations call for polling stations to remain open from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm on election day. People who were not provided with a ballot before 10:00 pm are unable to vote, even if they are inside the polling station or in a queue.

On 6 May, several incidents were reported outside polling stations in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Surrey after 10:00 pm, as would-be voters were turned away.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 2,002 British adults, 73 per cent of respondents say they are in favour of counting ballots electronically instead of by hand in the next General Election. There is a high level of support for this idea among Conservative voters (71%), Labour voters (72%) and Liberal Democrat voters (76%).

In addition, 71 per cent of respondents support using an electronic ballot marking device (such as a touch screen) instead of a paper ballot in the next General Election. Once again, supporters of the three major parties are in agreement (Con. 69%, Lab. 72%, L-D 74%).

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Andy Morris, Research Director, London
+ 44-207-065-7272

From May 14 to May 16, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 2,002 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2% for the entire sample. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.