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7th May 2010 |  Written by Justin Butcher

Time for an E-lection?

The voting for the General Election is about to come to a close and what happens next is anyone’s guess.  Who will be leading the country this time next week is still not clear, who knows, it may not be any clearer then either.

Instead of focusing on the eventual leader and who’s wheeling and dealing, I thought this could be a good opportunity to have a look back over the past 24 hours or so from a digital perspective.  Social media is at the peak of its powers and was primed up to be the weapon of choice for success in this election, especially after the expert job Obama’s team did with his campaign over the pond.

Twitter has been awash with political debate, views and comment over the past month.  Facebook followed suit in much the same way, they even integrated a vote counter on their site throughout the day yesterday.  Even some of the MP’s have decided to get in on the act, some have been slightly more successful than others, but still, it’s a sign of digital playing an even bigger part in what is a national event.

Many will say that the Election only really got going as a result of the TV debates – and there is no denying that it did have a big say in pulling in public interest.  However, it was social meida that kept the feeling of the Election alive between the shows, I mean er, debates.

So, as we are all embracing Twitter, Facebook and there are blogs filled with all matter of political debate and discussion, how come some people were locked out from polling stations and told they couldn’t vote?  Yes, they may have been pushing it leaving it til late on, but still there can be little excuse for running out of ballot papers?!  Voting with paper and pencil?  I do like the experience of going and voting, but I’ll be honest, I can go quite a surprising amount of time without picking up a pen!  Keyboards are where it’s at in most of our daily lives, it’s rare that I even need to sign my name anywhere anymore (not that I’m asked for my signature a lot! )

Now is surely the time then to start looking at ways to vote online or by text message.  It would probably increase the number of votes cast and more importnantly mean everyone can have more of a chance of actually getting their vote cast.  This will hopefully be nearer reality come the time of the next election and we’ll all be able to choose between voting in the traditional way or by voting online.

What do you think?  Is the ability to vote online a requirement nowadays or would it complicate things more?

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