Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Electoral Commission should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Concerning plans for providing online voting (including General and European Parliamentary elections) through/in conjunction with verify.

Documents to stakeholders, consultations, white papers, meetings, seminars is the scope of this FOI request.


Mr J White.

Mark Nyack, Electoral Commission

3 Attachments

Dear Mr J White,


Thank you for your email to the Electoral Commission.


The Commission is not aware of government plans to introduce online


An extensive examination of the benefits and risks associated with
internet voting was undertaken in British Columbia by the Independent
Panel on Internet Voting.


It identified a number of problems with internet voting, and found that
some of the benefits of the system, such as improving turnout or lowering
costs, were not as significant as expected.


Overall it was concluded that any changes made towards internet voting
should be gradual, that trust in the electoral system should be
maintained, and security should be guaranteed before a system can be


Major challenges include security, both on the device being used to vote,
and on the election server. Where in traditional voting methods it is hard
to fraudulently alter the result, due to the need to add a large number of
ballots to the poll, an able computer hacker could potentially alter all
the votes in an election if they found a vulnerability in the system.


Another problem raised by the panel was how the system could be
scrutinized. Transparency is an important part of our electoral system,
and vote counting is currently observed by candidates and their agents, as
well as election observers. The scrutiny of internet voting requires
specialist technical expertise which is not easily available to parties at
present. For example, at present the integrity of the process can be
assured by putting unique seals on ballot boxes which are not opened until
the count. When they are opened, verified and counted this takes place in
plain view. This is a process that is very accessible and easy to
scrutinise. To establish the integrity of an internet voting process
requires understanding of computer coding and cyber-security which is
highly specialist.


You can read the full report at the following link:




This is an example of some of the issues faced in online voting, and shows
why progress must be slow if the integrity of the process is to be
guaranteed and trust in the system maintained.


Parliament would need to legislate to enable electors to vote
electronically, and at present the Government has no plans to introduce
this legislation. The Electoral Commission does not write or amend
electoral law, as this is done by the Cabinet Office.


If you would like to contact the Cabinet Office with regards to internet
voting their contact details are as follows:


Elections and Democracy Division

Cabinet Office

4th Floor, South 1

1 Horse Guards Road,




0207 276 1234

[2][email address]


Kind regards



Mark Nyack 

Public Information

The Electoral Commission

3 Bunhill Row

London EC1Y 8YZ

Tel: 020 7271 0728

Fax: 020 7271 0505




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