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Electronic Elections: Half of Brits More Likely to Vote If They Could Vote Electronically

Almost one in two (48%) Brits say they would be more likely to vote if able to do so electronically, according to new research from e-Residency, a government-issued digital identity that provides non-...

Business Wire
  • New survey shows over a half (58%) of respondents believe electronic voting could streamline interactions with government services
  • Over a quarter (28%) of respondents feel that electronic voting would increase their faith in the electoral process

LONDON: Almost one in two (48%) Brits say they would be more likely to vote if able to do so electronically, according to new research from e-Residency, a government-issued digital identity that provides non-residents access to Estonia’s digital services.

With key elections happening in the UK and US this year, the research polled UK and US adults on their thoughts on digital government services and electronic elections. With low voter turnouts at UK elections, it is noteworthy that 72% of respondents would be willing to consider a new method of voting that might be quicker than visiting a polling station. Almost three quarters (73%) of UK respondents agreed an electronic voting process could be easier to use than traditional polling stations.

Having the ability to vote electronically would increase faith in and usage of wider government systems, with more than a quarter (28%) of UK respondents agreeing that electronic voting would increase their faith in the electoral process and over half (58%) believing electronic interfaces would streamline interactions with government services.

Designing digital systems

The research asked respondents which services they would find most useful if available on a single digital platform.

In the UK, the overwhelming response was the ability to access health records (50%) followed by:

  • Local government services (i.e. street care, local crime reporting, road/parking issues): 46% of individuals agreed they would like if these services were digitised, making interaction with local authorities smoother.
  • Electronic voting in elections: two in five (41%) considered electronic voting in elections to be one of the most useful services, with those in the North East most keen on making voting digital (49%).
  • Banking: While banking has shifted rapidly online with the growing fintech ecosystem in Europe, 40% would like further online banking services.

Barriers to digital uptake

While there is clearly a desire for certain services to be offered digitally, there are barriers that must be addressed to encourage their usage.

When asked what would prevent individuals from registering to vote electronically the main concern was around personal data security and privacy (49%) closely followed by cyber attacks and hacking (48%) and a lack of trust in the registration process (35%).

Liina Vahtras, Managing Director of e-Residency said, “Research indicates a growing demand in the UK for the digitalisation of various services, including voting. By digitalising essential government functions and integrating technology into many facets of society, administrative tasks, such as voting, become much simpler and accessible for residents and non-residents alike.

Estonia’s successful digital infrastructure, built on years of transparency and integrity, has resulted in a seamlessly integrated digital society with widespread citizen participation. The e-Residency programme was created to provide digital ID’s to vetted non-residents, who through this, are able to access Estonia’s wealth of digital services, including access to the country’s transparent business environment, health records, banking and voting in regional and national elections. Across its ten year tenure, the e-Residency programme has granted over 113,500 people e-resident status with the number continuing to climb which speaks to the desire for the digitization of various services.”

About e-Residency

Estonia launched the world’s first e-Residency programme at the end of 2014, with the aim of providing non-residents safe access to its fully digital public services. Over the years, over 113,500 people have been granted e-resident status. E-residents have set up more than 30,200 companies in Estonia.

E-residents are free to work anytime, anywhere. The programme offers entrepreneurs an easy and affordable way to expand their business across borders and be location-independent. By leveraging the high-security e-resident digital ID, entrepreneurs can streamline cross-border operations without the burden of excessive paperwork. With the ability to create time-stamped Qualified Electronic Signatures, entrepreneurs can confidently sign legal contracts and authenticate transactions with the same legal validity as handwritten signatures.

For more information about Estonian e-Residency and related statistics, please visit: https://www.e-resident.gov.ee

About Estonian e-ID

All Estonians have a state-issued digital identity. This electronic identity system, called e-ID, was launched in 2002 and is the cornerstone of the country’s e-state. The chip on the card carries embedded files, and using public key encryption, it can be used as definitive proof of ID in an electronic environment. People use their e-Identities to pay bills, vote online, sign contracts, shop, access their health information, and much more. It was first used for voting almost 20 years ago in 2005 and in the last general election over 313,000 people voted online, the first time more than 50 percent of ballots had been e-votes.

Estonians can use their e-Identity via state-issued identity or ID-card, using Mobile-ID on their smartphones, or the application Smart-ID.

Methodology

This e-Residency study was conducted online in April 2024, among a sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over living in the United Kingdom. Respondents for these surveys were selected from a panel of respondents compensated to take surveys relevant to them. The modelled error estimate for the full sample is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

Fonte: Business Wire

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