COMPUTER experts have described laptop computers used in the town's local elections as "unreliable".

The Open Rights Group said it could not express confidence in the election results recorded in areas where it observed the counting of votes.

And the group said that, following the experiences of May 3 when new voting systems led to large numbers of spoilt ballots in the Scottish Parliament elections and confusion at counts for English local authorities, it remains opposed to the introduction of e-voting and e-counting in the UK.

In Swindon, counting officers had to revert to old-fashioned pen and paper when wireless connections failed at polling stations in Covingham and Lawn.

The first seat winner was announced at 2am - two hours later than hoped.

Alan Winchcombe, the town's deputy returning officer, blamed the problems on a lack of time to implement the computerised voting systems.