Is technology bringing voters closer to their democratic institutions?
E-democracy, digital democracy, e-voting, online voting or internet voting; there are numerous names for paperless democratic activity. Election services provider UK Engage, one of the leading election services providers in the country, looks at how taking elections ‘online’ can help organisations connect with members.
In the last two years UK Engage has witnessed a significant increase in non-statutory elections which have some kind of electronic element to them. In our experience this can be attributed to four main factors – accessibility, ease of use, demographic profiles and social media.
Electronic information is accessible anywhere and anytime. In the UK we are spending two hours online on our smartphones every day and superfast 4G is changing the way we communicate. This means that members of a particular organisation, society, association or any other group can receive election-related information, such as election notices, nomination requests and UVCs (unique voting codes), straight to their phones or tablets.
Ease of use:
Making the democratic process easy encourages participation. UK Engage has seen this with both the nomination and voting stages of an election. Making the user experience (Ux) positive and the human/computer interaction easy (by incorporating online nominations and e-voting) allows members to participate with ease. If the process is favourable to members, they are more likely to use it.
Where clients’ data permits, UK Engage has also seen a trend for 100% online elections. This is where the nominations and voting processes are paperless. This type of election is popular in two scenarios; where an organisation has a specific budget (as online options do not incur paper and postage costs) or where an organisation has a younger demographic profile.
With 7 in 10 internet users having a social media profile2, membership organisations are seeing the merits of this channel as a way to interact with members about an election process. Indeed, social media appears to be driving all age groups online, even the age group 65+ shows an increasing trend for new profiles, year-on-year.
To find out more about how UK Engage can help your e-democracy requirements, contact us on: –
Tel: 0161 209 4808
Ofcom: The UK is now a smartphone society http://media.ofcom.org.uk/news/2015/cmr-uk-2015/
Ofcom: Adults’ media use and attitudes Report 2015