Are you responding on behalf of an organisation or as an individual?
Rossendale Borough Council
Online voting (eg, on computers and mobile devices)
What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of online voting (eg, voting via the internet using a computer or mobile device)?
Benefits: - easier for voters to access and quicker for them; voters expect to be able to access services electronically so would meet expectations; potentially reduce costs associated with polling stations and more importantsly postal voting; potentially reduce costs associated with manual counting of votes.
Drawbacks: - some voters, candidates and returning officers staff may be unsure of security; actual security issues leading to inaccurate results or the need to re-run elections.
What impact, if any, would online voting have on voter turnout?
I can only see that voter turnout would increase.
Would online voting increase the ‘digital divide’ or increase accessibility in elections?
Electronic voting at the ballot box (eg, using a voting machine at a polling station)
What are the advantages and disadvantages to using electronic voting machines in polling stations instead of paper ballots?
If the electronic voting machine was compact it would be easier for the polling station staff to transport instead of bulky ballot papers. It would also result in polling station staff not needing to complete complex paperwork about their ballot paper allocation as the information would be recorded electronically. This would result in quicker results.
Would electronic voting at the ballot box be a useful step towards online voting?
Yes. Voters would have the opportunity to become accustomed to electronic voting within the security of the polling station.
Best practice and troubleshooting
What safeguards would be needed to reassure the public that their digital vote was secure?
Electors are used to voting electronically during leisure activities (e.g. X-factor) so I'm not sure the public are as sceptical as may be thought.