Japanese Government Minister calls for online voting in wake of typhoon-hit election

A recent typhoon that swept through Japan during their recent lower house elections has led to renewed calls for the introduction of online voting in the country.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the typhoon caused widespread disruption on polling day with many voters unable to make it to polling stations as well as making it difficult for authorities to count the ballots on the same day. Seiko Noda, the Japan Government’s Internal Affairs and Communications Minister said “we must avoid a recurrence” and called for studies on online voting to begin “right away.”

A form of non-remote electronic voting is already in place for local elections in Japan, and voter turnout in lower house elections has declined from near 70% in 2009 to below 55% in 2017.

Japan ballot count
A Government Minister in Japan has called for online voting to be explored “right away.”

The UK faced similar problems caused by severe weather conditions on the day of the 2016 EU referendum when flooding closed some polling stations and caused significant disruption on public transport networks. Many voters reported being unable to make it to their polling station in time as a result. When asked about this earlier this year, the Cabinet Office said they would not undertake an assessment of severe weather conditions on voter turnout.

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