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.
The report sets out 3 recommendations:
- The Government should invest in a programme to implement an accessible online voting option in elections with a view to the public being able to vote online by the 2020 UK General Election.
- The Government should run online voting pilots, using a fair and open competition process, across the remainder of this Parliament.
- All major UK political parties should sign a cross-party commitment to online voting.
The report contains forewords with support from MPs from each of the main political parties, as well as the Speaker of the House of Commons:
Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons said:
“The Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy was a product of this desire to open up Parliament and to improve the way we interact, with a focus on how digital technology could widen participation in politics, with a view to encouraging more effective engagement. I look forward to the contribution to the discussion the release of the WebRoots Democracy report has, and the debate that will follow.”
Chloe Smith MP, Conservative MP and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democratic Participation said:
“Sensibly legislating and implementing e-voting can be done if politicians admit that it is almost immoral by now to fail to consider it. It is a sizeable project and we should start it.”
Graham Allen MP, Labour MP and former Chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee said:
“Change does not happen overnight, and modernising elections will take time, however, if we are serious about creating a 21st century democracy, online voting is a reform that must be given serious attention.”
Hannah Bardell MP, Scottish National Party MP for Livingston said:
“This issue is about engagement and confidence in our democratic system. Whilst the voting system is stuck in the same yesteryear of pen to paper and manual counting – society will move on and our democracy will be stuck in the past. We cannot languish any longer, the UK Parliament and our voting system must develop into the 21st century.”
Rt Hon Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington said:
“I welcome this stellar report produced by WebRoots Democracy. It provides an excellent explanation of the effects of online voting and its importance to the future of our political institutions. It satisfies the need to produce a secure, but more accessible means of casting a ballot. We must take this opportunity to push our nation in a direction that allows everyone to exercise their right to vote and exercise it easily.”
Click here to read the Government’s response.