Reports

The Cratos Principles: An essential guide to assessing remote online voting for use in elections

Publication date: 31 March 2020.

The Cratos Principles is the final report of WebRoots Democracy’s ‘Cratos Project’ which took place between 2018 and 2020. Through a series of events, roundtables, and expert interviews, the project set out to design a framework to assess the suitability of remote online voting systems for use in elections. The result of the project is the Cratos Principles, a set of 33 key principles which cover key aspects of accessibility, security, and user experience. In addition, the report includes a review of existing literature, detailed discussion on the challenges and opportunities, and a ratings system weighting the principles by importance.

Kinder, Gentler Politics: Tackling online abuse in political debate

Publication date: 16 October 2018.
Forewords: Hannah Bardell MP and Magid Magid.

Kinder, Gentler Politics is a report exploring the rise of online abuse in political debate, setting out a number of recommendations for how the state and social media platforms can act to combat the issue. The report builds upon a range of existing research and includes analysis of more than 53,000 tweets directed at political influencers in the UK as well as various popular UK political Facebook groups. The research particularly focuses on the impact that online abuse has on the expression of political opinions online.

Vote.Scot: Online voting for elections in Scotland

Publication date: 28 March 2018.
Forewords: Professor Mark Ryan, Dr David Galindo, Dr Grammateia Kotsialou, and Dr Luke Riley.

Vote.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.

Cost of Voting: Estimating the impact of online voting on public finances

Publication date: 6 November 2017.
Forewords: Rt Hon John McDonnell MP, Lord Lexden OBE, Hannah Bardell MP, and Rt Hon Tom Brake MP.

Cost 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.

From New South Wales to Wales, UK: The case for online voting pilots

Publication date: 10 October 2017.
Forewords: Dr George Theodorakopoulos, Professor Mark Ryan, and Dr David Galindo.

From 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.

Military Voting: Enhancing access to elections for the armed forces abroad

Publication date: 1 August 2017.
Forewords: Dan Jarvis MBE MP and Lord Lexden OBE.

Military 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.

E-Balloting: The case for digital-by-default strike ballots

Publication date: 13th July 2017.

E-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.

Inclusive Voting: Improving access to elections with digital democracy

Publication date: 5th June 2017.
Forewords: Baroness Sal Brinton and Nicky Gavron AM.

Inclusive 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.

Fake News: The need for digital literacy and critical analysis skills

Publication date: 19th April 2017.

Fake News is WebRoots Democracy’s submission to the House of Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee inquiry into the rise of so-called ‘fake news’. Our submission focuses on the need to equip citizens with the skills to be able to browse the internet intelligently rather than a need for white-listing of news outlets or censorship. The submission sets out three recommendations on mandatory political education, digital literacy education, and critical analysis skills.

Democracy 2.0: Hitting refresh on the Digital Democracy Commission

Publication date: 26th January 2017.
Forewords: Cat Smith MP and Emma Mulqueeny OBE.

Democracy 2.0 is a report exploring the progress made over the two years since the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy. The report focuses on the key recommendations of the Speaker’s Commission and provides new ideas to help tackle new challenges which have arisen since, such as the rise of fake news.

Secure Voting: A guide to secure online voting in elections

Publication date: 26 January 2016.
Forewords: Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Chloe Smith MP, Graham Allen MP, Hannah Bardell MP, and Rt Hon Tom Brake MP.

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.

Viral Voting: Future-proofing UK elections with an online voting option

Publication date: 3 March 2015.
Forewords: Graham Allen MP, Chloe Smith MP, Frances O’Grady, Jonathan Birdwell, and Agatka Cienciala.

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.