The popularity of internet e-voting has been studied by Australian academics, with the groundbreaking survey revealing that many Australians support the development of a national e-voting platform. Interestingly, e-voting was broadly supported by a swathe of respondents from urban and regional areas.
The study, undertaken by University of New England’s Phillip Zada, assessed hundreds of respondents’ attitudes towards the idea of ‘Mobile Voting’. In the end, massive numbers of Australians were shown to have positive attitudes towards voting via an online or mobile platform (applications etc.).
A mammoth 75 per cent of respondents noted that they would be interested in using the platform at the next election. In the city, 85 per cent of respondents were positive; in the country, support fell to around 65 per cent. In addition to gauging general attitudes towards voting technology, the survey also assessed what people liked and disliked about the voting system currently in place.
Mr. Zada explained the data to the ABC: “Urban Australians found that they didn’t like lining up, they didn’t like having only one day to cast their vote, and the actual time it takes to travel to the polling station. Rural Australians basically responded by saying they didn’t like taking time out of their day to actually vote, as well as lining up, and only having one day to cast their vote.”
As one might expect, mobile voting was preferred by younger Australians used to technology. “The age group most supportive was the 18-24-year-olds, followed closely by 25-34-year-olds,” Mr Zada said. “Across all age groups the majority were supportive towards mobile voting, the only age group which was least supportive would be the 55-64-year-olds. The 55-64-year-olds support rate was about 65 per cent.”
Mr. Zada suggests that the results are not necessarily conclusive, and further study of the technology is needed. A second survey has been slated for the later part of 2015. But for now, the body of evidence in support of e-voting appears to be growing each and every day.
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