Political

Scope calls for online voting to assist disabled voters

The BBC reports:

Online voting should be introduced to assist disabled voters after access to polling stations failed to improve for this year’s election, a charity said.

A Scope survey suggested more than two thirds of the general election polling stations failed basic access tests.

Ms Scott [of Scope] said the country’s voting system “isn’t working for other voters either,” demonstrated by “scores of people queuing outside polling stations” at the recent general election.

“Over the last decade there has been next to no improvement in the overall accessibility of polling stations or postal voting,” she said.

“There is a pressing need for clearer accountability over how elections are delivered, to help improve the accessibility of current voting methods, as well as expanding these to include alternative methods.

“Unless this happens disabled people will continue to struggle to exercise their right to vote.

“In a digital age where people can vote by text for the X-Factor and shop and bank online, our voting system really needs to catch up.”

Although Scope’s report highlights a significant problems, the proposed solution – online and text voting – would bring its own major problems. Both have been tested out in the UK in a series of pilots with mixed results. Although the pilot series was often popular with the public, it has also been unpopular with many IT security experts who doubt the security of such voting methods, the systems were often unreliable and they were far more expensive than traditional voting methods. They also did not raise turnout significantly. For a good recent summary of the case against these sorts of new voting methods see Jason Kitcat’s blog post.

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