Australians Dabble in US Presidential Election online

Australians put their two cents worth in the US presidential race yesterday through a demonstration online ‘ballot' hosted by the US Consulate in Sydney and the US Embassy in Canberra.

New York-based global company election.com, which provides online election services for the private and public sector, invited government, industry and media guests to cast a mock vote for the US presidency at the two VIP events.

A first-time online event for the consulate and embassy here, votes were cast using Datatrax's touch-screen kiosks. Similar election.com online ballots for the US election were also held in Wellington, London and New York. Privacy and security standards were upheld by issuing voters an ID number (PIN) which was erased upon casting of the vote, also ensuring no double voting, Frank Nesci, managing director election.com, said. Votes did not count towards the actual US vote count, official sources said.

The exercise was aimed at showing the political leanings of invited VIPs, and the immediacy and cost-effectiveness of electronic voting by eliminating paper-based processing, Nesci said. Election.com sees Internet kiosks being installed in all polling booths in Australia in the future.

Defying US Republican Party leader George Bush's near-confirmed victory of the presidential race, Democratic Party leader Al Gore was the clear favourite in the five ‘ballots' combined, winning 65.65 per cent of votes. Bush trailed at 34.35 per cent. Gore won 90 per cent of Sydney's vote and Bush 34 per cent. In Canberra the result was 54 per cent for Gore and 19 per cent for Bush.

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