Why can’t you vote online? – May 2014

I have just voted by post. And it reminds me of a conversation I had recently with a group of young people, who asked, “Why can’t you vote online?”

This does seem a very good question. If you can pay money on the internet, and do your tax return, why can’t you vote?

A little further investigation revealed that in the 2010 general election, only 44% of 18 to 24 year olds voted. This is the lowest turnout of all age groups. British youth are the least likely to vote across all European countries. Though of course people of all age groups would benefit from being able to vote online, if they can’t get to the polling station.

UKIP looks set to do well this time, but would this still be the case if voting better reflected all age groups?

There seems to be a growth in political participation through groups like Avaaz, 38 Degrees and Change.org. Why not provide an easy route from this participation, to voting in elections. It seems a good way of increasing engagement in society and democracy.