ICE COUNCIL elections could be carried out online to encourage more members to vote, following a dismal 12% turn out for this year's Council elections.
The ICE was hit with a second blow by graduate members who only returned 10% of papers, even though this was the first time they had been granted a vote.
'The graduate return was disappointingly low, but the overall number of returns has been hovering around 12% for a while now, ' said ICE council officer Patrick Griffin.
In all, 50,745 voting papers were issued - down 783 since last year. Although up 1% from last year, only 6,161 papers were returned.
'I don't know what else we can do. This was the first year that we put the candidate profiles on the website and we even reminded members twice by email, ' continued Griffin. The ICE is now seeking advice from balloting specialist Electoral Reform Services, to discuss different ways of voting, including online voting.
In contrast, the number of votes for regional candidates was higher than the national turnout, at about 16%. Chilterns and Thames Valley regions returned 18% of votes.
The announcement was made last week at the ICE annual general meeting when the ICE's 2003 financial results were also published.
Total ICE income, including trading operations, was down from £22.2M in 2002 to £20.4M in 2003. A summary of the breakdown is available on the ICE website.