Aberdeen City Council has put out a procurement notice inviting bids for a contract to provide an online voting platform for elections. Alongside tenders for postal voting services and electronic counting, the Scottish local authority is seeking the provision of e-voting solutions including:
- Internet voting
- Electronic voting within polling stations
- Electronic voting with touch screen facilities
- Telephone voting
- SMS voting.
The Council, of which no political party has overall control, is controlled by a coalition of Conservative and Independent councillors. The Scottish Government, led by the Scottish National Party, has committed to piloting online voting in elections. They will be the first pilots of the technology in the UK in more than a decade.
The tender documents put out by Aberdeen City Council request suppliers to explain what the unique identifiers will be for electors and to set out how ‘double voting’ will be avoided both via the same method or another. The e-voting system must be ‘fully auditable’ and allow various methods of voting to simultaneously take place, including traditional paper based voting. The contract, with an estimated total value of £372,000, will be awarded on September 24th 2018.
Voter turnout in the 2017 Aberdeen City Council elections was just 37.6% and more than half of the electorate failed to turnout in Aberdeen for the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.