Viral Voting

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.

Download and read the report here.

Publication date: 3 March 2015.

The report sets out 10 recommendations and highlights a number of key findings.

The key estimated impacts are:

  • An online voting option could boost turnout in a General Election by up to 9 million, increasing turnout to 79%.
  • An online voting option could boost youth voter turnout in a General Election by up to 1.8 million, increasing turnout to 70%.
  • An online voting option could reduce the cost per vote by a third and provide long-term savings of £12.8 million.
  • An online voting option could reduce the number of accidentally spoilt ballots cast.
  • An online voting option could allow vision impaired voters to cast a secret ballot, a human right which they may be denied due to current inaccessible methods of voting.

The report contains forewords with support from a range of voices.

Graham Allen MP, Chair of the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee said:

“Turnout for the last general election was only 65%. This is not an acceptable state of affairs for a modern democracy. We need new and innovative ways to get British people voting again.

This important report will kick-start the much needed debate on the future of voting in the UK and how we engage future generations in our political system.”

Chloe Smith MP, Conservative Member of Parliament said:

“This report is well-timed and stuffed full of smart facts that make the case for future-proofing our democracy. The technical method in which we vote isn’t everything – ideas, policies, leadership, vision, involvement and achievements are paramount – but our democracy will wither if it doesn’t keep up with the way people live their lives.”

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress said:

“It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that as many people as possible participate. But the government has saddled unions with twentieth century postal balloting methods that make it harder for working people to do just that.

Online voting is the way to bring balloting bang up to date and help ensure some equality in the workplace.”

Jonathan Birdwell, Head of Citizenship and Political Participation at Demos said:

“This report provides all you need to know about the possibilities, benefits and challenges of online voting. It should be read and taken seriously by everyone who is concerned with ensuring that our democracy remains relevant for the next generation of digital natives.”

Agatka Cienciala, Royal London Society for the Blind Youth Forum Member said:

“By introducing online voting, I believe that the increasingly digitalised young people of today will feel more included in the democratic process and disabled people may, at last, receive the possibility of a secret ballot.”