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[05 MAY 00] STRATFORD ON AVON DISTRICT COUNCIL NEWS
Conservatives Take Control In Stratford

Conservatives have taken control of Stratford-on-Avon District Council after yesterday's local elections.

The Conservatives now hold 28 of the council's 55 seats, with the Liberal Democrats having 18 seats, the Independents 7 and Labour with 2.

Previously the Liberal Democrats had run the controlling interest with support from the Independents.

Stratford was piloting a new method of voting and counting, using an electronic push-button system, as part of a Home Office scheme looking into new methods of voting.

Ian Prosser Returning Officer said:

"This was an historic event and the initial view is that electronic voting was very popular with the public and proved easy to use."

"I am slightly disappointed that the actual results did not come through as early as we had originally hoped, but this may not necessarily be down to the new system.

"This was a pilot and the whole point of it was to see how the public, our staff and of course the system itself coped under real election conditions.

"We will now be preparing our report for the Home Office based on our experience, and it will be up to the government to decide what to do with the results of not only ours, but all the other pilots which were being carried out across the country."

The Stratford-on-Avon District was the only council in the country to use the electronic system for all of its election.

Other pilots used the electronic voting system in only one or two wards alongside the traditional paper ballot, early voting was tried in other areas, and postal voting was also being tested.
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