Younger voters say they want online voting

Stuff reports:

A Massey University survey shows that young people are more likely to vote if it is made more convenient.

The research is based on a survey, which shows is more of an incentive than a $50 payment.

The survey, which was conducted by academics and students from the university’s politics programme, targeted 18- to 24-year-old students to gauge their attitudes to the upcoming general election.

Of the respondents who indicated they did not intend to vote, 75 per cent said they would be more likely to vote if online voting was introduced, while only 51 per cent said they would be motivated by a $50 payment.

Postal voting is a dying medium. I’m not sure about online voting for parliamentary elections, but I think it’s a non brainer for local body elections which currently rely on postal voting.

Massey University politics lecturer Dr Damien Rogers said the results reflected the level to which technology shaped the lives of young people.

“Among our 288 responders we have a high level of technological literacy and there’s a sense that they want voting to be made as convenient as everything else in their lives.”

Absolutely. Make it easy to vote.

But politics programme colleague Associate Professor Richard Shaw warned online voting alone was unlikely to be the silver bullet that fixed declining participation levels among young voters.

“Online voting would help – but we should be careful to make sure the solutions match the problems.

Definitely not a silver bullet, but something that will help slow or halt the decline in voting rates.

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