Have discovered, at short notice, that I need to be in Germany on the 5th May, which means I won’t be able to vote in the AV referendum: the first vote for quite some time that I do actually care about.
I could have opted to vote by post or by proxy, but only if I knew well in advance that I would be away. There’s nothing I can do now. So my question is this:
Why can’t I vote online?
Other countries manage it, and in general I think the UK does a good job of online governmental services. I can submit my tax return, fill in the census, complete a VAT return, pay the TV licence and buy my car road tax from the comfort of my web browser. The government web services are reliable, easy to use, and do their job well.
So why not voting?
There are challenges, yes, in making a secure system, but if memory serves, the process of voting in person simply involves walking into the polling station and saying that you’re me and you live at my house. So we can’t claim to be as concerned about security in our democratic processes as we are in, say, getting a mobile phone contract, though I imagine casting someone else’s vote is probably a criminal offence.
Still, anyone keen enough to register my vote for the YES campaign that they’d like to pop into my polling station and be me for a day?
Think of it as an alternative voting system.