Derry firm plays pivotal role in English government elections

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Polling stations serving an electorate of more than 2 million operated a digital check-in at the English local government elections thanks to Derry-based firm Modern Democracy.

The company deployed its cloud-based digital platform Modern Polling that modernises the polling station experience across 1,500 locations in 24 councils for the 4th May vote.

The digitised registration solution dramatically improves the voter pathway, speeding up the check-in process by eliminating the need for paper-based check-in and verification while also simplifying the work of the poll clerk and providing the election management team with a real-time view of election day turnout and instant statistical reports when the polls close.

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Siobhan Donaghy, CEO, Modern Democracy said: “The voting experience at polling stations has been virtually the same for almost a century, but that’s changing. The era of digital transformation is improving processes in every walk of life and the polling station is no different.

Siobhan Donaghy, CEO of Modern DemocracySiobhan Donaghy, CEO of Modern Democracy
Siobhan Donaghy, CEO of Modern Democracy

“We all know what it’s like to turn up at the polling station and meet your local poll clerk scanning through a mighty paper register and marking you off with a ruler and pencil. Using our solution, poll clerks at the English local government elections were able to simply scan a QR code on the voter’s polling card using a secure iPad, which automatically retrieves their details for verification. The digital register simplifies the process for the voter and the poll clerk.”

The introduction of Voter ID in England for the first time in the election, following changes made by The Elections Act 2022, also significantly increased the administrative burden for those running the polling stations.

Siobhan added: “Our solution makes administering Voter ID so much easier for the poll clerk and eliminates the end of day paperwork, automatically generating all the required statutory reports improving accuracy and replacing hours of laborious manual effort.

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“It also makes the job of the election team easier, giving them real time visibility of all poll stations, allowing them to monitor live turnout figures and respond quickly to voter and staff needs”.

Modern Democracy was founded in 2014 and is the market leader in digital transformation at the polling station. The company successfully delivered government pilot schemes on electronic poll stations in 2018, 2019 and 2020, now proven at scale in the 2023 local elections.