The parliamentary Digital Democracy Commission has recommended that online voting is introduced here in time for the 2020 election, when you'll be able to vote for slightly more haggard versions of the current miserable generation of politicians with just a click. Or at least, a tiresome and lengthy registration and verification process, then just a click.
But you can make voting as easy as you like and it won't get me any more excited about doing it. You can have a man come around to my house with a clipboard to ask me directly who I want to vote for and I still won't have the motivation to try to decide on which option is the least bad.
You can put voting on my TV if you want, or on my phone. Make it so I only have to blink at an option to vote, like Stephen Hawking, and I still won't be able to, with a clear conscience, choose between any of those horrible grey men that are on the news all the time accusing each other of not understanding the real issues. I'll stare at it, locked up, unable to move or think, until the election finishes.
That's my budget Russell Brand way of saying I'm not exactly engaged with modern politics and it's not the method of voting that's the problem nowadays. It's the people that are the problem. People who go into politics seem to be mostly of the unlikeable sort, and I'd rather not encourage them by telling any particular person I like him or her more than the others.
That said, I'll probably protest-vote for the Greens, because at least voting in its current form is an excuse to get out of the house and talk to the nice old ladies at the polling station for a bit. I could get a Twix from the shop on the way home and make a day of it. That part of it I like.
If you make voting digital, it'll lose even this small community-led aspect. If voting becomes an email or a notification you can ignore, having a say will feel like even less of a thing that impacts upon our lives in any meaningful way than it does at present. A day out, a walk to the polling station, a Twix on a warm day in May, that's a special event, one that at least has some gravity to it.
I'd say we'll end up voting less if it becomes another tiresome digital distraction, a thing to be starred for future action, but ultimately forgotten about alongside emails asking us to provide meter readings and leave packaging feedback on Amazon.