42% Of Non-Voters Want To Vote Online

By Ian Morris on at

People who don't vote say they would be more likely to if they could do so online, according to a survey of 1,700 eligible voters by cable.co.uk. Apparently it's the 35 to 44-year olds who are most keen to vote online - arguably the first age group to really use the internet in any significant numbers.

The statistics from this survey are actually bloody terrifying, especially if you're the Labour party. About a quarter of those polled said that they wouldn't be voting tomorrow, but if they were it would be for Labour. In comparison 16% said they'd vote for the Tories, 14% for UKIP and 6% for both the Liberal Democrats and Green parties. Who exactly are these people who have bothered to form a political opinion but can't be arsed to walk to the polling booth?

But there's something else to worry about here, and that's the whole idea of voting electronically: it's an absolutely terrible idea. Tom Scott made a video about this some time ago that explains it really well, have a gander:

If you can't watch the video - I'll summarise. Voting in person is ancient and no matter what some politicians say about "voter fraud" it doesn't happen in any meaningful numbers. Why? As Scott explains, those sort of attacks on ballot boxes don't scale well. You'd need an enormous operation to have a meaningful impact on the vote and you'd somehow have to keep that secret.

Secondly, the whole purpose of voting in the way we do - and a reason to resist voter ID - is to maintain anonymity. The reason you must not mark your ballot with an identifying mark is that it could be a sign that you've been coerced to vote a certain way. In times gone by, voters would be paid to vote for specific candidates - signing the ballot paper then was used to confirm the payout.

So, for a lot of reasons, it's just not safe to move voting online. It's also likely to not be any easier. The current system requires you go to a polling station and tell them your name. That's it. Online is going to need to have numbers, accounts and all sorts of nonsense to make sure there's no fraud. You'll probably lose your anonymity and all of this is before we consider how easy it would be to hack.

Seriously, you've got to vote. It's important normally but it's even more important to make your voice heard now. We get it, politicians are dreary idiots whose naughtiest activity is "running through a field of wheat" but we still have to make our voice heard any way we can.

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