Open Rights Groups calls for caution regarding e-voting have been picked up by the Electoral Commission, which has requested future Governments produce a detailed proposal for voter modernization. Consequently, the timetable for introducing e-voting at a general election has now been abandoned,
e-Voting may seem to make politics more acessible, but it in fact damages citizens' trust in politicians and the wider democratic system. This is because e-voting works against electoral security and transparency.
The British government has consistently tried to introduce electronic elections, testing out various approaches in live elections in 2007 as well as the 2008 vote for Mayor of London.
‘Black box’ technologies are fundamentally unsuited to democratic elections because they frustrate confidence in the final result. Simply put, nobody knows whether the votes cast agree with the declaration.
In addition, using these expensive technologies will not solve the problem of dwindling voter turnout.
The Open Rights Group deployed volunteer teams of technical experts in 2007 and 2008 to produce analyses of the e-voting systems used in both trial and live elections.
These observations were published as as a comprehensive analysis of e-voting in the UK. The report resulted in significant media coverage which led to questions being asked in the House of Lords plus sustained lobbying in Westminster.
Of course, e-voting systems are being further developed, so we continue to watch for developments on this brief and engage as appropriate.