Data published by the Government shows that since the introduction of online voter registration last summer, more than 7 million people have registered to vote online with 2 million registering via the traditional paper method.
On deadline day for registering, a record 485,012 people registered to vote with 97% of these applications being done online.
More than half (51%) of voter registrations, since the online option was introduced, were made by those aged 16 to 34.
In the run up to the voter registration deadline, social media was ablaze with celebrities, politicians, and charities urging people to register to vote online. Opposition Labour leader, Ed Miliband, tweeted a link to the registration website warning that people were “running out of time” and UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, tweeted that it was an opportunity to “rock the establishment.”
Socialist commentator Owen Jones tweeted the link saying that those who did not register will have “robbed” themselves of “a voice in a historic election.” Actor and comedian, Chris Addison said that those who are not registered would be the people “the politicians don’t have to worry about.”
On the day of the BBC Election Debate on April 16th, 118,000 people registered to vote with 93% registering online. At the end of the debate, the host, David Dimbleby, read the website link out urging viewers to register.
The highest number of online voter registrations was on the final day with 469,047 registering online, whilst the highest number of paper registrations on any day since last summer was on November 5th with 27,068 paper registrations.
On Bite the Ballot’s ‘National Voter Registration Day‘ on February 5th, 166,140 people registered to vote, with 94% online.
The experience of introducing an online voter registration option has evidently shown the power of social media, the ease of digital access, and the reach to millions that online portals can have.
WebRoots Democracy’s ‘Viral Voting‘ report published last month estimated that introducing an online voting option could boost turnout by up to 9 million in the UK as well as providing savings to the taxpayer of around £12 million per General Election.
In addition to this, a recent survey found that online voting would be the most popular method of voting across all age groups were it introduced.
Do you think the UK should introduce an online voting option for elections? Take a moment to sign and share our e-petition.
Download the Viral Voting report here.