Cost of Voting

cost of voting cover imageCost of Voting is a report examining in granular detail how money is spent on election administration and estimating how much the introduction of online voting would cost to implement.

The report is based on the results of more than 400 freedom of information requests, a survey of over 1,600 adults, and a roundtable held on 11 October 2017 in London.

Download and read the report here.

Publication date: 6 November 2017.

The report sets out 6 recommendations including:

  • The Government should pilot an online voting option for elections in advance of the 2022 UK General Election.
  • The Government should consider the potential of opt-in electronic poll cards.

The report contains forewords from Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP; Conservative Peer, Lord Lexden; the SNP’s Hannah Bardell MP; and Tom Brake MP from the Liberal Democrats.

Rt Hon John McDonnell MP said:

“Labour welcomes the publication of WebRoots Democracy’s report into the economics of online voting. They have provided compelling evidence that digital technologies can provide a cost-effective method for increasing the number of people who can participate in elections. As long as the secrecy and verification of the ballot box are preserved, Labour believes that every citizen should be able to exercise their right to vote easily and conveniently with the most advanced tools available.”

Lord Lexden OBE said:

“Online voting is a reform that would enable British citizens overseas, our brave Armed Forces, and our citizens with vision impairments and disabilities to participate fully and easily in our democracy. As can be seen from the survey data in this report, it is a reform that would be popular amongst our younger generations above all – and they are our future.”

Hannah Bardell MP said:

“It is hard to ignore the fact that 12.9m eligible voters did not take part in the EU referendum in 2016. We should always be looking at what more can be done to engage our people with our political processes. It is never good enough to shrug our shoulders and accept the status quo when things could clearly be better.”

Rt Hon Tom Brake MP said:

“I welcome this excellent report produced by WebRoots Democracy. The report’s findings make it clear that implementing online voting would be cost-effective in the long-term, make voting more accessible, including for people with disabilities and significantly increase voter turnout.”