The Diocese of Freiburg had started planning their 2020 online election of parish councils long before the outbreak of the COVID pandemic. However, the initially planned postal voting with 1.6 million eligible voters was cancelled due to the very first lockdown. Martin Müller, pastoral advisor and managing director of the Freiburg Diocesan Council, tells us in a #customerinterview how a remarkable voter turnout was nevertheless achieved in the largest online election to date with POLYAS.Continue reading
In the second part of our series on increasing your election turnout, we are taking a look at the more human aspects of turnout. Read on to learn how to gain valuable insight into the minds of your voters and fostering higher turnouts for your elections. Continue reading
Increasing voter turnout is always a problem with democratic institutions. But despite low participation rates, you can still activate the majority of non-voters. In the first of two parts on increasing Democratic participation in institutional elections, you can learn about how online elections can help.
Voter participation and political engagement make up the lifeblood of our democracies. A general lack of participation can call into question the very legitimacy of our leaders and the decisions they make. Throughout this blog series on voter participation, we’ve looked at lowering the voting age, mandatory voting, as well as voter education and registration as ways to encourage greater participation. In this final post, we look to another means befitting the digital era we live in – online voting in political elections. Continue reading
A lack of voter education & registration has led to widespread political apathy and low voter turnout. This has the impact of undermining the trust in and legitimacy of our democracies. Democracies ultimately derive their legitimacy from the participation of engaged citizens. Educating people about their voting rights and how to exercise them is therefore of great importance. In this edition of our blog series on voter participation, we take a look at voter education and registration. Continue reading
Mandatory voting is a much-debated topic whenever elections roll around. There are a number of countries around the world that require their citizens to show up at the polls on election day. In this installment of our blog series on voter participation, we discuss the arguments for and against compulsory voting. Continue reading
Voter participation is the backbone of democracy. It gives leaders and governments the legitimacy they require in order to make policy decisions. On the flip side, when voters stay away from the polls, the foundation of democracy itself is eroded. In our next blog series, we cast our eye over various ways in which voter participation can be boosted. First up is the case for lowering the voting age. Continue reading
Democratic engagement is an issue. We know it and the European Commission knows it. Voter registration, engagement in the political processes and, crucially, voter turnout are problems as old as democracy itself, which unsurprisingly continue to present challenges in the 21st century. The Commission has, however, released a grant for new technologies to have a go at solving it.
With its numerous referendums, Switzerland is regarded as the model democratic state. However, a relative low number of citizens use this method of influencing politics directly. Previous referendums have had a voter turnout of around 30%. That is why the Swiss, as well as other countries, are thinking about introducing compulsory voting. In this part of our series, we have collected and summarized the advantages and disadvantages to this proposal. Continue reading
In North America, voting is not compulsory. In a democracy, individuals can decide for themselves if they make use of their right to vote. Still, non-voters are often in the media focus. Newspapers report about the voter turnout in elections even on Election Day. Days before, you can find raising requests to go vote in social media. Continue reading
In Germany, voting is a right which citizens can refuse to exercise. However, in other countries, it is compulsory. In the second part of our series, we present these countries and explain the consequences on society. Continue reading
Many years citizens have fought for suffrage – and still do. Suffrage is one of the highest commodities in democracy. A commodity, which many citizens see as natural. Therefore, some countries introduced compulsory voting, in some it is discussed.
An example is Switzerland, which is on the one hand admired for its referendums but on the other hand suffers from a low turnout. It is so low, that many ask to introduce an electoral duty. However, should a right become an obligation? Is this even democratic?
We try to find answers to these questions in our new series. Continue reading