It was online voting to which I was referring, which is a completely different scenario. If we are talking about updating the register, for all who practise politics, we should be concerned about our democracy and that our system needs modernisation and is secure. There is undoubtedly abuse of our system as it is based on the issuing of voting cards. These can go to addresses where people no longer reside and, in some cases, multiple cards go to one address. An examination of the voter register, especially in the areas of townhouses and apartments, points to this. Tightening this up to eliminate the potential for voter fraud should be uppermost in our minds.
I am amazed we can use online activities for every other facet of our lives. The Revenue Commissioners have secure portals for LPT payments, for example. Why can it not be used for this? Up to 14 countries have some form of online voting. Estonia, a small Baltic nation, was the first to introduce permanent national Internet voting. It has gone from 1.9% of votes cast through online voting to nearly 30% in its recent parliamentary elections. Interestingly, it also keeps the simple pencil and paper system.
If we are looking at voter registration, there is the potential to look at online voting.