Why you should support WebRoots Democracy
We have a backwards, dysfunctional democracy which is stuck in the 19th century.
Voter turnouts in the UK are terrible. With the exception of General Elections and the occasional referendum, the majority of the country are not turning out to vote.
For the past three years, WebRoots Democracy (a youth-led, digital democracy think tank) has been leading the campaign for online voting in the UK.
Our research has shown that over 95% of the UK's 20,000 elected politicians were voted in on turnouts of less than 50%. Even the Mayor of London elections have never managed to obtain turnouts of more than half.
On top of this, voters with disabilities, voters abroad, and voters in the armed forces are being locked out of elections altogether. A cumbersome, unreliable, and outdated postal voting system simply isn't good enough for democracy in the 21st century.
Australia, Estonia, and Switzerland are just some of the countries around the world which have adopted an online voting option for elections. Across the water, the Republic of Ireland are looking to introduce it for expatriate voters. Even here at home, the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, the SNP, and Greens use online voting for their own internal elections. Why? Because it's accessible and efficient.
We believe it's time for the UK to take a lead on this and have online voting ready for the 2022 General Election. WebRoots Democracy is carrying out research into the benefits, cost, and security of online voting and are working closely with our group of Political Ambassadors to help drag democracy into the 21st century, where it belongs.
I set up WebRoots Democracy three years ago when I was 21, and we're an organisation made up of young volunteers. We don't have many costs, but we are crowdfunding to raise money in order to pay lunch and travel expenses for our volunteers and to support our campaign and research work on online voting.
Lots of people say online voting is 'inevitable' - we think so too, but your support and our campaign is an essential part of that inevitability. Together, we can transform and modernise our democratic system to make it accessible for voters with disabilities, accessible for voters abroad, and accessible for our younger voters, many of whom will have known nothing other than a world of smartphones and social media.
- Areeq Chowdhury, WebRoots Democracy.
27 Apr 2017
Updates from WebRoots Democracy
As this fundraising campaign proceeds, you’ll see updates appearing here.