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Voters would rather click than tick in the next General Election
according to a survey into attitudes towards voting online released by
Touch plc today. The survey found that the democratic malaise could be
reversed if voters are given the opportunity to vote electronically; 75%
would be more likely to vote in the next General Election if they could
vote online. In the 2001 general election, the UK experienced the lowest
turnout by voters since 1918, with only 59.4% of the electorate turning
out to vote. The total number of votes was 26.4 million the lowest since
1945.



When asked which voting method they would prefer to use in the next
General Election, 87% would like to be able to vote online using their
home or office PC. Surprisingly only 51% would like to be able to vote
by mobile phone, and voting by PC from the local library at 32% or at an
Internet café at 24% were also less popular. The traditional method of
voting through a polling station is still popular with 69% wishing to be
able to vote this way, but surprisingly only 55% wanted to be able to
use a postal ballot as an alternative. A further 20% wished to be able
to vote by hand-held computer. Men and women were very similar in their
attitudes to which methods they wished to use to vote apart from hand-
held computers and postal ballots. Voting by postal ballot was popular
with 65% of men and only 46% of women while voting by hand-held computer
was only popular with 25% of men and 14% of women.



Touch plc run a number of online communities for cities in the UK
including Nottingham, Derby, Southampton and Oxford. The survey of 516
of the eligible electorate was carried out with 366 members of the
online communities of www.touchnottingham.com, www.touchderby.com,
www.touchoxford.com and www.touchsouthampton.com, and a further 150
street interviews were conducted in those cities. The results of both
the online survey and interviews were very similar with 89% of the
online survey and 87% of the interviewees saying that they would
consider voting on line and 75% of both survey methods concluded that
the electorate were more likely to vote if they were able to do so
online.




There are still a number of issues that need to be resolved before
online voting is widely adopted, especially concerns about security and
privacy. The factor that worried 75% of voters was that another
individual could use their digital identity to cast their vote, 77% of
women were concerned with this issue compared to 72% of men. Seventy
percent of voters were also concerned about confidentiality and ensuring
that the data gathered from online voting was not available to
government departments or third parties. Sixty seven percent of men and
women were also concerned about the security of their private
information and it potentially getting into the wrong hands.




The effect of online voting in Local Government elections could be even
greater than in General Elections with 77% of voters stating that they
would be more likely to vote in Local Government elections if they could
vote online. The government is doing something about voter apathy and
is piloting a number of alternative methods of voting including postal
ballots and online voting in the May 2002 local elections, online voting
is being piloted in Liverpool, Sheffield, Crewe and Nantwich, St Albans
and Swindon according to the DTLR.




About Touch plc



Touch plc has a national website with approximately 2 million business
directory listings powered by a network of 126 local community websites.
Products range from large bespoke websites and portal software right
down to domain names and basic web listings.


For further information
visit http://www.touchplc.com


ENDS


Notes to Editors


For interviews contact


Jackie Davidson 020 7452 5317 email j.davidson@touchplc.com


Press Contact


Neil Stinchcombe - Eskenzi PR 020 8449 1007 neil@eskenzipr.com


Local Elections pilot source - DTLR:


http://www.press.dtlr.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2002_00...


Election Results source:

http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp2001/rp01-05...


This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Eskenzi PR in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.