It is nothing new that especially the younger generations spend a majority of their lives online. Almost everywhere you see people with smartphones or tablets, and 87 per cent of all German households have computers with internet access (source: Statista 2015). One may find that bad – yet it also comes with a wealth of opportunities and possibilities to increase voter participation by breaking down barriers.
“We need the defiance of the younger generation
otherwise our feet would fall asleep.”
– Willy Brandt, German politician, Chancellor, Nobel Peace Prize laureate –
Possibilities of online voting systems
The obstacles of taking part in an election are quite diverse. They span from rather mundane things such as poor weather, up to severe disabilities that affect people with limited mobility, for instance.
An important factor in increasing voter participation is thus to clear any possible hurdles out of the way in advance.
By utilising modern online voting systems, you are able to consider the needs of your voters. This way voters are given the opportunity to cast their ballot at any time and from any location with internet access. This kills several birds with one stone, as voters who can benefit from online voting include
- (young and) internet-savvy people,
- people with limited mobility,
- elderly voters and
- people not in the election site on the day of the election.
When you provide the opportunity to vote online, you can motivate many voters from these groups to participate.
Online voting systems and data protection
In the age of digitalisation, all of the news about data protection and data processing prevent many people from seeing the internet as the opportunity that it can be. This is understandable, but primarily stems from the fact that it is quite difficult to assess the internet’s processes.
To this end there are many quality and security standards for certified and legally binding online elections. This includes absolute data security, which is ensured via innovative software, encrypted data transmission and distinct identification procedures.
What online voting systems furthermore can do
Increasing voter participation is one thing, but the possibilities of an online voting system extend much further. They not only reach all authorised voters in the office, at home or abroad, but can also reduce your expenses to a minimum:
An online voting system allows you to manage an electoral index as well as conduct the election, and count the ballots at the push of a button. The evaluation and documentation of a conducted election also do not generate any additional expenses – for instance, you can validate the entire ballot process smoothly.
And what you save in organisational costs can in turn be invested into your campaigns, to increase voter participation in other ways as well.