International elections experts call for action to confront digital democracy deficit
United Kingdom, London - October 18, 2016 – Embracing technology can strengthen democracy and empower voters, according to a number of renowned elections experts who have contributed to a report released today by International Elections Advisory Council (IEAC).
The Future of Elections Report comprises seven essays written by people who have experience running some of the most complex elections around the world. As well as championing the use of technology to solve challenges faced by global democracies, a number of the essays demonstrate how digital voting and registration tools have already revolutionised the electoral process in countries including the Philippines, India, Nigeria and South Africa.
In his essay, Pioneering Digital Democracy Worldwide, Richard Soudriette draws upon his experience as founding president of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems to explain why democracies around the world should be investing more to modernize their voting technology.
With proper funding, Soudriette argues that voting technology can help:
• Enhance election integrity and security by bringing societies beyond the tedious and vulnerable system of counting ballots by hand
• Boost turnout among low-level demographics (such as in United States where only 38% of voters aged 18-24 voted in 2012, compared to the 69.7% of voters aged 65 and older)
• Meet the growing needs of democracy worldwide as almost half of the world’s countries adopt and implement democracy
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, Chairman of Smartmatic, has said, “Free and fair elections are the backbone of a democracy”.
“This collection of essays comes from some of the world’s most prominent elections experts. They offer a unique perspective on what it takes to run an effective election, sharing thoughts on the global electoral landscape, how to enfranchise more people and which countries are pioneering digital democracy solutions. It is a must read for anybody concerned about the democratic challenges facing developing and developed countries alike.”