I’ve just come across a Guardian interview of Jenny Watson, chair of the Electoral Commission, which includes this:
People, she said, should also be allowed to vote online. “There will always be people who will want to vote in person, just as there are people who want postal votes. But you could allow more choice in the system,” she said.
It’s extremely disappointing to hear the Chair of the Electoral Commission, of all people, promoting this kind of view. These kind of facile arguments were being made by Labour ministers 3-4 years ago.
Since then we’ve been on a journey with many MPs, publicly at least, agreeing e-voting is a long way from being ready for consideration, if ever. Most Electoral Commission officers I’ve met have also been taking ever stronger lines against e-voting and e-counting.
I absolutely support the Electoral Commission being more outspoken and pushing more forcefully for reforms that improve the security, accuracy and accessibility of our elections. However I believe, I hope anyway, that Jenny Watson’s comments do not reflect the views of her staff who thus far have been very conscientious (but perhaps too soft-touch) in highlighting the serious risks associated with postal votes, e-counting and e-voting. Online voting being the most risky of all of them!
The risks & challenges of e-voting are laid out in detail in the writings section of this site.