Media

Take a look at some of the coverage of WebRoots Democracy’s work below.

If you would like to get in touch with any press releases for our website, or have any press enquiries, please send an email to hello@webrootsdemocracy.org.

labour-list-logoLabour List: Cat Smith: Tories must crack down on trolling to help protect democracy

According to a recent report by WebRoots Democracy, “there appears to have been very little, if any, progress made towards tackling internet abuse of politicians, despite mass interest in doing so.” The youth-led think tank has urged the government to create a digital democracy “czar”, to lead on the government’s response to issues such as fake news and internet trolling.

the-times-logo The Times: Cyberattacks make online voting too risky, warns ex-spy chief

Areeq Chowdhury, chief executive of WebRoots Democracy, which campaigns for electronic voting, said: “There is no evidence to show that online voting is more susceptible to fraud than the paper alternative.”

daily-mail-icon Daily Mail: Electronic voting risks cyber attacks, says former MI6 chief

Areeq Chowdhury, chief executive of WebRoots Democracy, which campaigns for electronic voting, said: ‘There is no evidence to show that online voting is more susceptible to fraud than the paper alternative.’

He added: ‘The Speaker’s Commission was right to recommend the introduction of online voting, as was the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee.’

 International Business Times: Former MI6 chief Sir John Sawers warns electronic voting in UK would leave elections at risk of hacking

The Institute for Digital Democracy, also known as WebRoots Democracy, believes that digital voting should be introduced in the UK.  In a statement issued on Tuesday, it said there was “no evidence” to show online voting is more vulnerable to fraud than the paper alternative.

rt-icon RT UK: Ex-MI6 chief warns electronic voting presents serious hacking risk

Areeq Chowdhury, head of the WebRoots Democracy campaign for electronic balloting, told the BBC that there is “no evidence to show that online voting is more susceptible to fraud than the paper alternative.

“There have been more instances of fraud across the world with paper votes than electronic ones, and the recent recounts of electronic votes in the US showed no evidence of hacking,” he added.

 The Independent: Online voting could leave British elections vulnerable to hacking, former MI6 head warns

Areeq Chowdhury, chief executive of WebRoots Democracy, said voter engagement would “only falter and decline” without online voting and dismissed Sir John’s claim. “There is no evidence to show that online voting is more susceptible to fraud than the paper alternative,” he said.

 BBC News: Ex-MI6 boss warns over electronic voting risk

Areeq Chowdhury, chief executive of WebRoots Democracy, which campaigns for electronic voting, said: “There is no evidence to show that online voting is more susceptible to fraud than the paper alternative.”

 The Guardian: ID cards and wider issues of voter engagement

A letter written by IDD Chief Executive Areeq Chowdhury is published in the Guardian in response to the Government’s announcement to introduce identity checks at polling stations.

hp Huffington Post: London is Headed Towards Democratic Dysfunction in 2020

With all of the new challenges online voting presents, it would equally open up a whole realm of opportunity. Opportunity to resign issues like ‘accidentally spoilt ballots’ to the dustbin, and opportunity to enable a more accessible method of voting for Londoners with disabilities and vision-impairments, as well as the city’s youth and long-hour workers.

 The Guardian: Corbyn promises to ‘democratise the internet’

WebRoots Democracy, a group campaigning for online voting, has welcomed Jeremy Corbyn’s digital democracy manifesto: “Online voting is forward-thinking and will help drag our democracy into the 21st century, and we call on all political parties and the prime minister to back the reform.”

morning star Morning Star: Tech-Hungry Corbyn Plans Online General Elections

Mr Corbyn’s pledge was welcomed by the WebRoots Democracy campaign: “Online voting will help enfranchise citizens with disabilities and vision impairments, as well as young people and Britons abroad.”

Plaid Zebra logo Plaid Zebra: Our entire political system is completely outdated. This is why it needs to change.

Campaign group WebRoots Democracy created a report outlining the argument in favor of online voting and found it would decrease the cost associated with each vote by about a third.

Fabian logo Fabian Review: Online voting and digital democracy: Bridging the democratic divide in the UK

Digital democracy, the next frontier in modern democratic reform, is a concept that isn’t given the prominence it deserves in British political discourse; but it is a concept that is fundamental to bridging the widening democratic divide between the young and the old.

times of malta logo Times of Malta: Why electronic voting is seen as a ‘difficult journey’

WebRoots Democracy, a British youth-led pressure group, is lobbying the UK government to implement an online voting option by the 2020 general election.

The group says that while in 1964, 18-to-24-year-olds voted in the same proportion as those aged 55 and over, at the 2010 election, 44 per cent of 18-to-24-year-olds voted, as compared with 74 per cent aged 55 and over.

 The Telegraph: Brexit: Over 1 million extra young voters if we reform voting system

There would have been an extra 1.2m votes cast by young voters in the EU referendum if we had been able to vote online, according to a new YouGov survey.

 International Business Times: Could a Brexit have been avoided if the UK had a smarter digital voting system?

In January 2016, the WebRoots Democracy organisation launched its Secure Voting report and its continued call for online voting to be introduced in Britain for Local and General Elections.

sky news icon Sky News: Discussion on youth voter engagement and Brexit

Areeq Chowdhury from WebRoots Democracy, and Kenny Imafidon from Bite the Ballot discuss youth voter engagement and Brexit on the day of the EU referendum results.

progressive-radio-logo-300x231 Progressive Radio Network FM: Infectious Myth – Online Voting

Interview focusing on online voting for US radio network PRN FM.

partly political broadcast Partly Political Broadcast: Episode 17

Tiernan Douieb talks to Areeq Chowdhury at WebRoots Democracy about online voting.

PunchLogo Punch Newspapers: INEC’s proposals on new technology

The findings from WebRoots Democracy’s Viral Voting report are highlighted in Nigeria’s “most widely read” newspaper.

concrete logo Concrete: Norwich North MP backs calls for online e-voting

Chloe Smith, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Democratic Participation’, said it is “almost immoral by now to fail to consider online voting”, and that “it is a sizeable project and we should start it”.

LFF-logo-large Left Foot Forward: Trade Union Bill: Why it’s time for online strike ballots

The case for introducing online strike ballots for Trade Unions in the UK.

 BBC Daily Politics: Discussion on online voting for the UK

The Daily Politics discuss online voting for the UK with Liz Kendall MP (Labour), Areeq Chowdhury (WebRoots Democracy), and Jason Kitcat (Open Rights Group) on the anniversary of the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy and following the publication of the Secure Voting report.

 ToUChstone: Online voting: Safe as Houses of Parliament?

The Trades Union Congress give their thoughts on the release of the Secure Voting report and look at how it ties in with the debate on trade union strike ballots.

hp Huffington Post: Dear David Cameron, Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to Appalling Voter Turnouts…

An open letter to UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, published in the Huffington Post.

 Expresso: Voto eletrónico, o inimigo n.º 1 da abstenção

Portuguese newspaper, Expresso, looks at the potential of online voting to combat low voter turnout.

 ROOSTERGNN: Online voting and the future of our democracies

Campaign group WebRoots Democracy conducted a survey into online voting, with two-thirds of respondents stating that they would be more likely to vote in an election if they were able to vote on the internet.

 The Straits Times: Time for online voting in the Internet age

A report in Britain noted that online voting could reduce the cost per vote by one-third, saving taxpayers millions of dollars per GE, while reducing the number of accidentally spoilt ballots and speeding up the counting process.

 Medium: Handwriting stopped me from voting

A recent report by campaign group WebRoots Democracy found that online voting could boost turnout in a UK general election by nine million.

 LBC: Discussion of the WebRoots Democracy/YouGov poll on online voting

Clive Bull on LBC radio discusses online voting with listeners following a poll by WebRoots Democracy and YouGov showing the majority of Londoners are in favour.

london-live London Live: Should online voting be introduced ahead of the mayoral election?

It was a big talking point ahead of the general elections in May – should we be given the option to vote online?

 London Evening Standard: Three in five Londoners want to be able to vote online

Leading Labour and Tory contenders Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith have both thrown their weight behind the campaign.

 BBC London 94.9: Online voting discussion on the Breakfast Show with Paul Ross and Penny Smith

The Breakfast Show with Paul Ross and Penny Smith discuss online voting following a poll done by WebRoots Democracy and YouGov showing majority support in London.

hp Huffington Post: Unless Elections Modernise, Turnout in the EU Referendum Could Struggle to Surpass 50%

What evidence is there to suggest that engagement in the EU referendum will be similar to that experienced in the Scottish referendum? Will we really see national voter turnout anywhere near 85%?

 City AM: London mayor election 2016: Most people want to have the option of voting online

In a YouGov survey of 1,047 adults in the capital, 59 per cent of those already online said they would support its introduction to the voting system. 

hp Huffington Post: Over a Million Blind Voters Left Without a Voice in General Election

In the recent General Election an estimated 1,379,700 voters were prevented from voting in secret because of inaccessible voting and registration methods. The Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB) is calling for online voting to be introduced by 2020 to remove barriers for blind people to exercise their right to a secret ballot.

 London School of Economics: Online voting is the 21st century answer to poor voter turnout in the UK

In the wake of last week’s elections, Areeq Chowdhury argues that online voting is a potential solution to poor voter turnout.

hp Huffington Post: Online Voting is the 21st Century Answer to Poor Voter Turnout in the UK

Sustainability is perhaps the most important reason to introduce online voting. Voter engagement has to be long-term and future-proof. Online voting will not achieve 100% turnout, but it will take us much closer to it than we are now. The argument for it this year was already strong, but it will be much stronger in five years time.

 Mend: Should we be voting online?

A recent study by the campaign group WebRoots Democracy has found that online voting could increase voter turnout in a UK General Election by as much as nine million.

 ITPro: Is it time for voting to go digital?

There are many arguments in favour of online voting: advocacy group WebRoots Democracy claims it could boost turnout to 70% and cut ballot costs by a third.

 Vox Radio Lambeth: #GE2015 Election Special

Listen from 10.50 for views and discussion about introducing online voting in UK elections.

 ITProPortal: General Election 2015: The year pen and paper dies?

This upcoming UK general election may be the last where pen and paper are used for vote casting.

 The Telegraph: Digital democracy: will 2015 be the last paper-based general election?

Most people agree that allowing people to cast their vote over the internet would have a positive impact on participation. A recent report by campaign group WebRoots Democracy found that the introduction of online voting could boost turnout in a UK general election by nine million.

 International Business Times: Election 2015: Why can’t we vote online?

When you go to the polling station on 7 May, take a moment to step back, look at your surroundings – the wooden floors of a village hall, the rusty hinges of the partition installed to stop anyone seeing your ballot paper, the very fact you queued for your entire lunch hour to drop a piece of paper into a box – and ask yourself why you can’t vote online.

 Channel NewsAsia: Between the Lines: Close Contest

Akash Paun (Institute for Government), Ian Dunt (Politics.co.uk), and Areeq Chowdhury (WebRoots Democracy) discuss the upcoming General Election on Singapore-based Channel NewsAsia.

 BBC News: Are British general elections stuck in the 1950s?

Hustings, ballot boxes, election broadcasts, the leaders of two mighty parties battling it out for the “keys to Number 10”. Why does so much about the general election seem to belong to a bygone era?

 The Guardian: Why electronic voting isn’t secure – but may be safe enough

We do everything online – book doctors’ appointments, manage our bank accounts and find dates – but we still can’t yet vote from our PCs or smartphones.

The Wharf: Online voting should be piloted in Tower Hamlets to encourage more voters and combat fraud allegations

An online voting option should be piloted in the next Tower Hamlets Mayoral Election, according to a new report Viral Voting.

 The Independent: ‘Hactivists’ are trying to reboot democracy from the bottom up with interactive voting apps

Activists and developers around the world are building software that could revolutionise the way we go to the polls.

 Shout Out UK: Online voting could boost flagging turnout by 9 million

An online voting option in the UK elections could increase voter turnout by up to 9 million, a new report called ‘Viral Voting’ reveals.

 Democratic Audit UK: Safe, secure, and sure to increase youth engagement: the Government should introduce online voting for UK elections

The Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy recently proposed introducing online voting in time for the 2020 General Election, an aspiration which looks well intentioned if ambitious. Here, the Chief Executive of WebRoots Democracy, Areeq Chowdhury, argues in favour of allowing voting via the internet on the grounds that the security risks are overstated and that it would increase engagement amongst young people.

 New Statesman: Women are at risk of falling off the electoral register – and out of the political debate

Abena Oppong-Asare writes about women and voting as part of International Women’s Day 2015.

 BBC News: Politics Live – 4 March

Online voting could boost youth voter turnout from 44% in 2010 to as high as 70%, a report out today claims.

 BBC Three Counties Radio: Discussion on online voting

Iain Lee discusses the Viral Voting report recommendation for online voting to be piloted in the next Watford Mayoral Election, with WebRoots Democracy founder Areeq Chowdhury.

sky news icon Sky News: Young Voters Urged To ‘Use Age Wisely’

A Facebook campaign aimed at first-time voters urges them to be a “huge part” of what is expected to be a closely-fought election.

 Royal London Society for the Blind: Online voting could boost number of youth turnout and give secret vote to the blind

Online voting could increase youth turnout by nine million and could allow 360,000 blind people to cast a secret vote for the first time, a report published this week reveals.

 ToUChstone: Viral voting: What’s good enough for politics is surely good enough for unions too

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress blogs about online voting and WebRoots Democracy’s Viral Voting report.

 Watford Observer: An online voting option should be piloted in the next Watford mayoral election, according to national pressure group

An online voting option should be piloted in the next Watford mayoral election, according to a new report ‘Viral Voting’ launched this week.

hp Huffington Post: Should the UK Introduce Online Voting in Elections?

In a country where 38million of us are socialising online, 36million of us are shopping online, 26million of us are banking online, and 4.5million of us are dating online; it is perhaps unsurprising that 65% of the public are in support of being able to cast their vote online.  But what would be the benefits of such a move?

BBC Radio 5 Live: Daily Show discussion on online voting in elections

Adrian Chiles discusses the Speaker’s recommendation for online voting by 2020 with Conservative MP, Robert Halfon and WebRoots Democracy founder, Areeq Chowdhury.

 BBC News: Discussion on Speaker’s recommendation for online voting by 2020

The Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy has published its report which recommends that the UK should have online voting by the 2020 election.

sky news icon Sky News: Britain ‘Must Take Lead’ In Online Voting

All voters should be able to vote online within five years, according to a parliamentary commission set up to get more people involved with politics.

Buzzfeed BuzzFeed: 10 Steps The UK Took Towards Online Voting This Year

Have a look at why 2014 has been a positive year for those campaigning for online voting in elections.

hp Huffington Post: Getting Back to the Future of Voting

It is fair to say that our current methods of voting in the UK are incredibly out-dated and simply do not reflect the culture change that has occurred in the Google Generation.

london-live London Live: Should we lower the voting age?

Panel discussion alongside vInspired and Shout Out UK about whether 16 and 17 year olds should get the right to vote,

hp Huffington Post: Could an Online Voting Option Have Enticed the Half a Million That Didn’t Vote in the #IndyRef?

Whilst over two million Scots will be feeling relieved and more than one and half million nursing feelings of disappointment, there will be over half a million Scottish people confessing to having not voted in the independence referendum.

sky news icon Sky News: Debate: Should The UK Get E-Voting?

An online panel debates whether Britain should move to a virtual ballot box and whether e-voting would boost voter turnout.

sky news icon Sky News: Young People Finding Their Voices

Video link of Sky News ‘Stand Up Be Counted’ campaign and online voting being discussed on Digital View.

sky news icon Sky News: Online Voter Sign-Up Appeals To Young People

Many registering digitally are under 35, but concerns remain over the hike in people who face being barred from the ballot box.

Buzzfeed BuzzFeed: 9 Things That Moved With The Times Compared To Our Method Of Electing Politicians

Here is a list of nine things that have leapt forward with the times, compared to our system of electing politicians. WebRoots Democracy is campaigning for online voting in order to help drag our democracy into the 21st Century.

LFF-logo-large Left Foot Forward: It’s time to embrace the digital age and introduce online voting

The popularity of clicktivism, e-petitions, and political blogs are evidence that people are willing to politically engage online.

hp Huffington Post: The Campaign for Online Voting Starts Here…

It is time for the UK to start researching and developing a system of online voting for local and general elections. If we are to be serious about tackling low voter turnouts, we need to modernise the method of selecting our political representatives.

hp Huffington Post: The Revolution Will Be Tweeted: The Need for Online Voting in General Elections

We have a problem in the UK with engaging young people to vote. In the last three General Elections, the turnout for young people aged 18 to 24 has been less than half; the lowest of all age groups. This needs to be addressed and I have a solution. We need to modernise our democracy and introduce an online voting option for all UK elections.