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Text Messaging Service would Deliver 20 Per Cent Increase in Election Turnout

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As the dust settles on the election, Orange have released some figures revealing that 20% more of us would bother to vote if there was a text messaging service that allowed us to do so.

The stats come from the Orange Election Report, which surveyed about 2000 nationally representative adults. As well as the need for a text messaging service, the survey also found that nearly a quarter of 18-24 year olds have received information on the general election via social networks and 11% have actually commented on it using social networking sites.

Anthony Parker, author of the Orange Digital Election Report says: “It’s clear from this research that the use of technology by the political parties has made politics more accessible and interactive, and ultimately more interesting to a younger audience.”

What’s particularly striking about this research is the implications that it has for our electoral system in the future. If 20% more people voted because there was a simple text message service, then it would seem very probable that this type of technology is lkely to become more prevalent next time around in 2010.

A text message voting service would undoubtedly bring some logistal challenges around data security and the voting procees would also need to be fairly slick or people would lose interest and either not bother or vote in the tradional way.
So let’s hope that sms services and technology in general play a more central role in engaging the country’s younger voters with the whole process.

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