Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Vince Cable MP, has joined calls for the UK Government to pilot online voting in elections following the publication of the WebRoots Democracy Cost of Voting report.
Writing on his Facebook page, Sir Vince said:
“Our democracy fails when it does not reflect the lives of the people it is supposed to represent. 12.9m people did not vote in the EU referendum despite the gravity of the decision and the power of the voter.
As the WebRoots Democracy report states, many voters are locked out of our democratic process and the introduction of online voting could provide a real, practical, and modern alternative.”
The Cost of Voting report found that online voting could boost voter turnout by 4.7m in a national election and cut the cost-per-vote by 26%. It also contained new survey data showing that voting online would be the most preferred method of voting amongst those aged under 50.
The report was backed by cross-party politicians including Labour’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell MP; Conservative Peer, Lord Lexden; and the SNP’s Hannah Bardell MP. Fellow Liberal Democrat MP, Tom Brake, also backed the report, writing in the foreword that online voting is an “obvious” reform and that it would be “cost-effective in the long-term” and “more accessible” for voters with disabilities and vision impairments.
The President of the Liberal Democrats, Baroness Sal Brinton, also backed calls for online voting pilots in another WebRoots Democracy report, Inclusive Voting, published earlier this year. She wrote that our voting system must be “kept up-to-date with the times in which we live” and argued that online voting would enable voters with disabilities to vote “independently and in secret.”
Download and read the Cost of Voting report here.