Will online voting actually increase voter turnout?

A:

Online voting on its own won’t be sufficient to mobilise those who are under-represented in voting, but it is necessary to modernise elections if we want to increase participation in our democratic processes.  [1]

A Massey University survey shows that young people are more likely to vote if it is made more convenient. The research is based on a survey, which showsonlinevoting is more of an incentive than a $50 payment. The survey, which was conducted by academics and students from the university's politics programme, targeted 18- to 24-year-old students to gauge their attitudes to the general election. Of the respondents who indicated they did not intend to vote, 75% said they would be more likely to vote if onlinevoting was introduced, while only 51% said they would be motivated by a $50 payment. [2]

In NZ, we have seen good examples of increased digital participation with the census, where 35% of forms were completed online in 2013, which is up from 7% in 2006. [3]

Online voting will also make it easier for people with disabilities and other physical barriers for accessibility to vote. [4]

[1] Massey University local government specialist Associate Professor Christine Cheyne

[2] Tech generation wants online voting, Stuff.co.nz, 08/07/2014

[3] www.beehive.govt.nz/release/online-voting-report-welcomed-minister

[4] www.beehive.govt.nz/release/online-voting-be-trialled-2016-elections

Also, check out this awesome TED Talk from Journalist and Presenter Rick Edwards as he gives five solutions to get more young people to vote.

 


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