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Following the UK General Election, two US firms are teaming up in a bid to transform the way elections are run.

Computer giant Dell and e-government specialists Hart InterCivic are to design and market easy-to-use, affordable voting systems which make 'accurate, accessible and secure elections possible through the innovative use of technology'.

Hart InterCivic's Jerry Meadows said demand for electronic voting in the US was 'surging'.

They already have one voting system up and running, which comes with training for election officials, poll workers and voters. It can also handle postal voting and voter registration.

Dell vice-president Bob McFarland said: 'The November 2000 elections shined a spotlight on the nation's election infrastructure, and we've clearly heard the need from our customers to help them modernise the way America votes.'

McFarland said election integrity would be critical to future elections.

'Newer election technologies. provide ease of use and flexibility for the voter and can speed election result tabulation, reduce costs and provide better security and integrity features than many older technologies,' he said.