Robust and innovative technology in place to ensure free and fair by-elections in Tower Hamlets

Polling station in Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Council is set to be the first local authority in the country to introduce advanced security measures to help manage elections, with new software in place to administer access to its two by-election counts on Thursday (7 February).

The council has worked in partnership with elections software provider, Xpress, to develop an automated photographic entry system for anyone attending the ballot counts, building on its already robust electoral processes.

The new system will bolster security and increase efficiency for officials and attendees. It has been welcomed by the Electoral Commission, police and other partners.

It is one of many stringent processes Tower Hamlets Council has in place in partnership with police for this week’s by-elections, which are being held to elect new councillors for the Shadwell and Lansbury wards.

Chief Executive and Returning Officer for Tower Hamlets, Will Tuckley, said:

 “With just days to go, we are prepared and are rolling out our plans designed to deliver the two by-elections safely and smoothly.  We work closely with police and other partners to make sure our residents can cast their votes freely and securely, and we have robust measures in place for both polling stations and ballot counting.

“This includes using new security software to manage access to the by-election counts – and we’re the first local authority in the country to introduce these enhanced security measures.

“We take our responsibilities very seriously and our new software is just one example of Tower Hamlets Council taking every possible step to make sure these by-elections are carried out in the spirit of free and fair democracy.

“I strongly encourage electors in Shadwell and Lansbury to visit their local polling station on Thursday, and have their say in the future of their ward and the wider borough.”

Polling stations in Shadwell and Lansbury will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday.

The by-elections are taking place following resignations from two former councillors for these wards, Ruhul Amin (Shadwell) and Muhammad Harun (Lansbury).

 More information:

  • The advanced new photographic entrance system means authorised tickets can be automatically cross-referenced with the approved attendee database and displayed on screen for security staff to view when people enter the venue.
  • The technology will add another layer of screening and will apply for anyone attending – from official agents and candidates to guests, council staff and members of the media. 
  • The enhanced security measures will be in use for the by-election counts on Thursday 7 February. 

Read more about the Shadwell and Lansbury by-elections, including a list of candidates and locations of polling stations. 


Posted on Tuesday 5th February 2019