Online Voting

Since May 2014, WebRoots Democracy has been leading the calls for pilots of remote online voting in the UK. Below, you can find our published reports related to this topic, as well as some of the headline findings.

Headline findings

Our research has found that an online voting option for elections in the UK could have a number of significant benefits and that the reform enjoys broad support across the population.

  • Unlike the existing system, online voting could enable many voters with vision impairments and disabilities to cast an independent, secret ballot as is their right under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Online voting could enable greater access to voting for citizens overseas such as Armed Forces personnel posted overseas.
  • An online voting option could reduce the cost-per-vote in a national election by an estimated 26%.
  • In the UK, online voting could increase turnout at a General Election by an estimated 4.7 million voters.
  • Recent opinion polls undertaken in the UK have found that the majority want an online voting option to be introduced, that people would be more likely to vote, and that it would be the most preferred method of voting amongst those aged under 55 years old.

Reports

Report cover scotland-1Vote.Scot is WebRoots Democracy’s submission to the Scottish Government’s consultation on electoral reform.

It is a joint submission with Professor Mark Ryan (University of Birmingham), Dr David Galindo (University of Birmingham), Dr Grammateia Kotsialou (King’s College London), and Dr Luke Riley (King’s College London). It relates directly to the question of remote online voting.

Publication date: 28 March 2018.

Forewords by Areeq Chowdhury, Professor Mark Ryan, Dr David Galindo, Dr Grammateia Kotsialou, and Dr Luke Riley.

View more here.

Cost of Voting report cover photoCost 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.

Publication date: 6 November 2017.

Forewords by Areeq Chowdhury; Rt Hon John McDonnell MP; Lord Lexden OBE; Hannah Bardell MP; and Rt Hon Tom Brake MP.

View more here.

From New South Wales coverFrom New South Wales to Wales, UK is WebRoots Democracy’s submission to the Welsh Government’s consultation on democratic reform.

It is a joint submission with Dr George Theodorakopoulos (Cardiff University), Professor Mark Ryan (University of Birmingham), and Dr David Galindo (University of Birmingham). It relates directly to the question of remote online voting.

Publication date: 10 October 2017.

Forewords by Areeq Chowdhury, Dr George Theodorakopoulos, Professor Mark Ryan, and Dr David Galindo.

View more here.

Military Voting report cover imageMilitary Voting is a report exploring barriers to elections for British military personnel posted overseas. In particular, it focuses on barriers to voter registration, information on elections, and the act of voting.

The report builds upon a policy roundtable held at Newspeak House on 7 July 2017 with various organisations including the Royal British Legion, the Army Families Federation, and the Electoral Commission, as well as existing research and new data.

Publication date: 1 August 2017.

Forewords by Rachel Fielden, Georgia Wild, Tess Woolfenden, Dan Jarvis MBE MP, and Lord Lexden OBE.

View more here.

E-Balloting Cover ImageE-Balloting is WebRoots Democracy’s submission to the Knight Review on online voting for industrial action ballots.

Our submission responds to a number of questions outlined by the Review and makes the case for the introduction of an online voting option for trade union ballots.

It has been submitted alongside a copy of our Secure Voting report published in 2016, and sets out six recommendations for the Government and Sir Ken Knight.

Publication date: 13th July 2017.

View more here.

Inclusive Voting imageInclusive Voting is a report exploring barriers in elections for voters with vision impairments and disabilities. In particular, it focuses on barriers to voter registration, information on party policies, and the act of voting.

The report builds upon a policy roundtable held at London City Hall on 26 May 2017 with several disability organisations, as well as existing research, and new data.

Publication date: 5th June 2017.

Forewords by Areeq Chowdhury, Baroness Sal Brinton, and Nicky Gavron AM.

View more here.

Secure Voting is a report examining the key security challenges facing the implementation of online voting for UK elections, as well as the methods to overcome them.

This report is made up of contributions from global experts and academics in the electronic voting industry and follows the “Viral Voting” report which looked more widely at the benefits and challenges for modernising elections in the UK.

Publication date: 26 January 2016.
This report is also available in Spanish.

Forewords by Areeq Chowdhury; Rt Hon John Bercow MP; Chloe Smith MP; Graham Allen MP; Hannah Bardell MP; and Rt Hon Tom Brake MP.

View more here.

Viral Voting is the culmination of over a year’s worth of research looking into the potential of introducing an online voting option in UK elections.

It examines the benefits of online voting, the challenges faced for it’s implementation, and the estimated impact on voter turnout and on elections as we know them.

Publication date: 3 March 2015.

Forewords by Areeq Chowdhury; Graham Allen MP; Chloe Smith MP; Frances O’Grady; Jonathan Birdwell; and Agatka Cienciala.

View more here.

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