The UK Government has not ruled out introducing online voting for elections, according to the Constitutional Reform Minister, John Penrose MP.
In an interview with the Local Government Chronicle, Mr Penrose described online voting as an ‘intriguing’ and ‘interesting’ idea that the Government is ‘keeping a close eye on.’
Acknowledging the potential security risks, the Cabinet Office minister said that the Government wants to see evidence that it would be ‘robust’ and difficult to hack. He added that online voting would be ‘incredibly convenient’ for voters.
“It’s intriguing, it’s interesting and we’re keeping a really close eye on the way the technology develops but we would also want to see really solid evidence in the future of it being robust and really hard to hack.”
This comes after the Government rejected proposals by Unite leader Len McCluskey to introduce online voting for trade union strike ballots.
All of the main political parties in the UK have now implemented online voting for their own elections with the Labour Party experiencing the largest online voting election in UK history when 81% of the Labour Party voted online to elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader. More recently, thousands of Londoners voted for Zac Goldsmith to be the Conservative Party’s London Mayoral Candidate in an online ballot.
Separate research by the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy and the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee recommended that online voting should be implemented for the 2020 General Election.
A recent poll by WebRoots Democracy and YouGov found that 56% of the British public want to be able to vote online in the upcoming EU referendum.
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