£3.5m spent towards 14,000 minutes of MPs standing in division lobbies

MPs spent an estimated 14,000 minutes standing in division lobbies during the 2010 - 2015 Parliament, according to analysis by WebRoots Democracy. This equates to almost an entire month, based on a working day of 8 hours. Using the value of MPs' salaries over this period, the cost to the public purse is estimated at … Continue reading £3.5m spent towards 14,000 minutes of MPs standing in division lobbies

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Welsh Government announce plans to pilot online voting for elections

The Welsh Government has announced plans to pilot remote online voting in elections. The decision follows a broad public consultation undertaken by the Government and was announced alongside a raft of other democratic reforms including lowering the voting age to 16. It follows a similar commitment by the Scottish Government to trial online voting. These … Continue reading Welsh Government announce plans to pilot online voting for elections

MPs clamour for electronic voting in the House of Commons

Following the vote on the European Union Withdrawal Bill, a number of MPs have called for the UK to introduce electronic voting in Parliament with the Green Party Co-Leader, Caroline Lucas MP, describing the current system as "barmy". The SNP MP for Aberdeen North, Kirsty Blackman, tweeted that the existing lobby system is "archaic" and … Continue reading MPs clamour for electronic voting in the House of Commons

E-voting advocate appointed as the new Minister for electoral reform

The UK Government has appointed Chloe Smith MP as the new Cabinet Office Minister responsible for electoral reform following the Prime Minister's January reshuffle. Her role is also known as the Minister for the Constitution, previously held by Chris Skidmore MP. Smith is a key advocate of piloting remote online voting for elections. Writing for … Continue reading E-voting advocate appointed as the new Minister for electoral reform

What happened in 2017?

By Areeq Chowdhury. 2017 has been a memorable year for our work advancing the digital democracy agenda in the UK. Starting work on WebRoots Democracy full-time has been incredibly challenging but incredibly worthwhile. The amount of progress made compared to previous years has increased sevenfold, literally as well as figuratively. We published seven policy documents … Continue reading What happened in 2017?

Scottish Government commits to trials of online voting for elections

The Scottish Government has launched a public consultation on electronic voting, including remote online voting, and said it 'plans to trial' the technology in future elections. Writing in the foreword of the consultation paper, Minister for Parliamentary Business, Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, said the way we run elections 'has remained unchanged for over 100 years' and … Continue reading Scottish Government commits to trials of online voting for elections

Knight Review recommends pilots of online voting for trade unions

Sir Ken Knight's independent review into e-balloting for trade unions has recommended pilots of online voting be undertaken. Welcoming the recommendation, WebRoots Democracy says it could "pave the way" for online voting in elections. Writing in the report, Sir Ken Knight said: "Owing to the number of unanswered questions surrounding e-balloting I am not persuaded … Continue reading Knight Review recommends pilots of online voting for trade unions

Jersey considers online voting as survey finds broad support amongst population

Almost two-thirds (63%) of Jersey voters have stated they are more likely to vote if online voting was an option according to the 2017 Jersey Opinions and Lifestyle Survey. The response from young voters showed an overwhelming level of support for online voting, with 77% of respondents aged 18-34 stating they would be more likely … Continue reading Jersey considers online voting as survey finds broad support amongst population

Blockchain and its applications for democracy

By Areeq Chowdhury. In the first of our series of topical seminars, WebRoots Democracy explored blockchain and its applications for democracy. This took place at Newspeak House, a London-based institution for political technologists. Speaking to our audience were Dr David Galindo (Senior Lecturer in Computer Security, University of Birmingham); Dr Sarah Meiklejohn (Reader in Computer … Continue reading Blockchain and its applications for democracy

Scotland poised to solve ‘beautiful problem’ of online voting

The Scottish Government are to launch a consultation on democratic reform which will include the potential of remote online voting in elections. Speaking at an event at Edinburgh University, Minister for Parliamentary Business, Joe Fitzpatrick MSP called for reform of a voting system "unchanged since Victorian times." The all-day conference, entitled 'Scotland's Democratic Future: Exploring … Continue reading Scotland poised to solve ‘beautiful problem’ of online voting