Bring on e-voting, say half of Brits

E-voting has been trialled in various countries; on 3 May the UK is next

More of us would vote if we could do so online, a new survey has revealed. Ahead of the local government elections this Thursday, 3 May, a survey has shown that almost half of British voters would be more likely to vote if offered electronic voting methods.

Of the 2,287 UK adults polled by YouGov , 46 per cent said they would support e-voting and would be more likely to vote via this means.

Younger people were even more supportive: 57 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds said they were more likely to vote using e-voting methods. A third (36 per cent) of voters aged 55 agreed.

Testing, testing

Thirteen local authorities are to test internet and telephone voting at next month's elections.

"Local government is often a shining example of how to provide online services, as such allowing local citizens to vote online would be very much in keeping with the digital age in which we now live," said Christopher Small, director of public sector at ntl:Telewest Business , which commissioned the survey.

"Trialling this tactic at a local government level should pave the way for e-voting in general elections, where voter turnout is also on the decrease."

Using email, online portals

The study showed that a quarter of respondents contact their local council via email or an online portal. A third still use the telephone to do the same.

Local councils need to do more to embrace the technology at their disposal, according to Small.

"Councils have invested significant resources into building online services over time. Local government simply needs to do more to educate people on what's already available today. They also need to continue to invest in technology to improve and add to online services," Small said.