Derry-based company ensures smooth GB elections for 4.5m voters as record number of councils adopt digital check-in


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  • Photo: Modern Democracy Director of Strategy Ann-Marie Slavin and CEO Siobhan Donaghy

    Derry-based company Modern Democracy is forecasting further growth ahead of the General Election after its digital check-in and voter verification technology helped deliver record-breaking local government elections in England and Wales.

    Greater numbers of council authorities adopted the solution on the 2 May elections than ever before as market-leading provider Modern Democracy rolled its platform out to an electorate of more than 4.5 million.

    The company’s cloud-based solution Modern Polling facilitated seamless voter processing at a record 3,240 polling stations spanning 47 council areas.

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    Rather than the traditional pen and paper method, voters arriving at polling stations using Modern Polling were checked in and had their Voter ID verified by staff via iPad by scanning a QR code on their poll card.

    It meant fewer election staff were required and the waiting times to vote were significantly reduced.

    Based at Catalyst’s Innovation Centre in Derry, Modern Democracy is this year marking its 10th anniversary.

    Siobhan Donaghy, CEO of Modern Democracy said: "These local government elections confirm that digital check and voter verification is now becoming the de-facto standard at council authorities across Great Britain.

    “The widespread adoption of our electronic poll-book platform proves its impact on a significant scale and underscores its pivotal role in modernising electoral procedures as councils continue their digital transformation journey.

    “Recent clarification from the government that Returning Officers are now able to claim back the expense of implementing the technology is also fuelling a surge in demand.

    “With a General Election on the horizon, we are experiencing an exponential rise in interest from local authorities seeking to digitalise their election day, and we’re expanding in response as we grow our sales and services teams to meet the increased requirement.”

    The system enabled smooth voter processing for local authorities some of which dealing with up to four different elections in one day, including Parish, Local, Mayoral and the Police and Crime Commissioners.

    A staggering 4,000 secure iPads were deployed for the implementation of Modern Polling, solidifying its status as the preferred polling day partner for election administrators seeking greater operation and financial efficiencies.

    The solution has been developed over the past decade in collaboration with Modern Democracy’s customers, alongside ongoing investment in the company and recruitment.

    Ann-Marie Slavin, Director of Strategy, Modern Democracy added: “As a company, we pride ourselves on the relationships we have built with our customers who trust us to help them deliver stress-free elections. Modern Polling has been designed for, and with, them as we listen to local authorities and other stakeholders on how we can continually improve the platform.

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    “Our growing team is committed to providing the very best levels of service, and thanks go to them for their efforts in delivering a record-breaking election day.”

    An Electoral Commission survey of election staff carried out at last year’s local government elections found that 86% of those using tablets to check voters in found the process easier than traditional method.

    Additional features of Modern Polling include real-time analytics throughout polling day while it also allows for the instant generation of all post-election reports at the close of polls.

    For more information, visit

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