Person using touchpad on a laptop

Pure Telecom study finds people would rather vote electronically then visit traditional polling stations

Four in ten believe electronic voting should be an option as the next Presidential election approaches.

Come Friday week people across Ireland will be heading to the polling booths to vote in the Presidential election and referendum. Currently Irish residents must vote in person at their local polling booths (with exceptions for postal voting in certain circumstances), but 27% of people think that this method of voting is outdated. A recent national survey of Irish adults, commissioned by Pure Telecom, revealed that 40% of the electorate who said they did not vote in the last election would definitely have done so if electronic voting was available.

Of those eligible to vote, 17% believe that the current method of polling does not cater to the needs of those unable to travel to traditional polling stations - including people who are elderly, less mobile or housebound. Other concerns people had relating to poll station voting is that it is often too time-consuming (14%) and an inconvenience (12%) - issues that would be reduced if electronic voting was introduced.

When asked about the way in which people would like to vote electronically, online voting was the most preferred method, with 42% of people saying it should be available. Voting via an app was also a popular channel (19%) and 13% would like to submit their vote via text message.

“In the digital age, people are used to being able to complete tasks with the touch of a button or screen – so electronic voting appeals to them.”

CEO of Pure Telecom, Paul Connell said: “…it is perhaps a good time to consider alternatives to traditional polling methods. We know that young people tend to have a poorer turnout for general elections than older members of the electorate and this needs to be addressed. Exploring how various forms of communications technologies can securely engage young members of the electorate with the democratic process should be considered as a possible means to achieving this.”