EDITORIAL: Point and click – and vote?
Internet voting may not be the panacea for boosting flagging voter-participation rates that everyone hopes.
Making voting more convenient might make a difference to young people, who traditionally don’t vote, and it is inevitable online voting will be part of elections in the future.
But will internet voting boost participation rates? Not likely.
Lack of convenience isn’t the only reason people don’t vote. Voter disengagement has been a problem for years and has many causes. Distrust of political institutions, negative advertising, information overload — there are many reasons politicians have difficulty engaging with voters. As well, voters are increasingly diverse and there may be language, education, cultural and economic barriers to voting.
If political leaders truly want to boost participation rates, they need to do a better job of explaining why voting is important, what difference it will make and why anybody should care.
What do you think? Do you think online voting would encourage more people to cast ballots in civic elections? Vote in our online poll.