It is looking like the turnout for yesterdays elections was around just thirty percent. Considering what people have sacrificed in the past to ensure we all get the opportunity to vote and be part of a democracy, that’s pretty terrible.
The easy route to take is that of assuming it’s because people don’t care about politics. And there’s no doubt that that’s part of the equation. But I really don’t think it’s only that.
For me, the low turnout issues we’re facing can be addressed to a large extent by making the most of the technology we have. It seems crazy to me that in 2012, we are still having to walk to our nearest polling station to place a vote.
Millions of us are voting for our favourite singers on shows like X Factor and The Voice via text and the red button and yet we’re not able to vote for our local representatives via the same means.
I know that some will say adding easier voting options to vote is pandering to the popular culture, but shouldn’t politics be deeply connected to where popular culture is? I really think it is time to embrace technology and let people vote via every possible means.
Some people worry about security, but this has moved on so much now and it needn’t be a reason for holding back at all. In fact, the technology will open the door for greater security. When I went to vote yesterday, I wasn’t asked for any ID of any kind. I could have walked into multiple polling stations around Sheffield and voted numerous times. How secure is that?
I think that adding new means of voting that fit with the technology we all have nowadays will get a lot more people voting. I’m pretty convinced that turnout would probably have doubled if it was easier for people to vote.