In the future could the UK join the likes of Estonia and 13 other countries globally in introducing an online voting system?
“I-Voting” is already used in Estonia and allows voters to cast their votes from any location worldwide, provided they are registered and have an internet connection. Could the flexibility of this system change the makeup of the electorate in the UK by encouraging more of the younger demographic to vote?
In the UK, the increasing use of social media within election campaigns to target such voters seems to be working, with a large increase in under 25s voting in the referendum last year. Could I-Voting boost these statistics even further or was the referendum just a once in a generation event?
Interestingly, despite the increase in the uptake of I-Voting in Estonia, rising from 1.9% in 2005 to 30% in the most recent election 2 years ago the number of overall voters didn’t change dramatically, their preferred way of voting did. This type of online voting has already been trialed unsuccessfully in other European countries such as Norway and France, but was discontinued due to voter concerns, political uncertainty and most recently the cyber-security issues worldwide. This was even despite the fact that French citizens must possess some form of government issued ID, meaning that the implementation was initially easier in some respects as the foundations of I-Voting how to buy levitra online were already in place.
Currently in the UK the manual system of vote counting means long waits for election outcomes, which some people enjoy as part of the election experience, similar to the significance of committing their vote to pen and paper. However, when counting votes inevitably human error can and does occur so would an electronic counting system prevent such errors?
For Estonia, there is yet to be any major technical error with the I-voting system, as each citizen eligible to vote has a digital ID card, the latest of which feature fingerprints. The size of the UK in comparison to Estonia means that the introduction of such ID cards would be a lengthy process and would require several years at least to become an established norm.
Cyber crime, is an obvious issue following the global Ransomware attack last month. For the UK, voters could be hard to win over, due to the extent and uncertainty that this attack created, and consenting for their electoral data to be part of the first UK electoral experiment could be a step too far perhaps…Although, everyday UK citizens use social media to express themselves and unknowingly or knowingly put their personal data at risk. So should the public be scared of this new voting system, as it might not be that new after all.
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