Vote Scot cover imageVote.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.

It makes the case for pilots of online voting in Scottish elections, and has been submitted alongside some of our previous research in this area in addition to our open letter to the Minister for Parliamentary Business.

Download and read the submission here.

Publication date: 28 March 2018.

The document sets out 3 recommendations:

  • The Scottish Government should commence pilots of remote online voting option in local council and Scottish Parliament elections within the next five years.
  • Pilots of online voting should be undertaken alongside the development of an online voting certification framework.
  • In order to obtain the benefits of electronic voting, the Scottish Government should proceed with pilots of remote online voting and not stand-alone electronic voting machines.

The submission contains forewords by Areeq Chowdhury, Professor Mark Ryan, Dr David Galindo, Dr Grammateia Kotsialou, and Dr Luke Riley.

Areeq Chowdhury said:

“Online voting not only has the potential to revolutionise elections and enable the greatest level of accessibility for traditionally marginalised voters, it will inevitably become part and parcel of elections in the future both here and abroad. It is right that we take the reform seriously and begin exploring how best to implement and regulate it.”

Professor Mark Ryan and Dr David Galindo said:

“Technologies to fully realise this notion of voter verifiability are still under development. They have been used for professional association elections and university elections, and now they are beginning to be used for large-scale political elections in Estonia and in New South Wales, Australia. We salute and support the Scottish Government’s commitment to pilot them for elections in Scotland.”

Dr Grammateia Kotsialou and Dr Luke Riley said:

“Technology has significantly moved on since the last trials of online voting in the UK. Moving forward with small scale trials can help clarify the benefits of online voting for political elections in Scotland and generate valuable feedback to shape future technological developments.”