Engaging young voters with enhanced election information

DAI wrote Democratic Audit’s new report (7 March 2013), with Patrick Dunleavy, on the weaknesses of online election information in the UK. We argued this particularly affects the participation of young voters in elections as this highly mobile group is cut off from traditional forms of election information.


Democratic Audit’s new report, Engaging young voters with enhanced election information, highlights flaws in pre-election information aimed at voters, as well as the fragmented, old-fashioned methods of providing feedback on election results.

The report shows that online resources provided by the Electoral Commission, BBC, local authorities and others fail to provide integrated, user-friendly information.  For instance, public authorities fail to publicise the dates of upcoming elections more than four weeks in advance, while results for different types of election are reported in different ways, at a variety of different sources with no obvious explanation for why this is the case.

The report also includes:

  • New analysis of the cost of elections in the UK. This shows that in the five years 2009-2013, taxpayers spent around £760 million, equating to over £150 million per year, administering elections and referendums.
  • New analysis of the life circumstances of young voters, including high levels of population mobility, that suggests online sources of information – as well as a reduction in the voting age – are required.

Professor Dunleavy and I presented our evidence to the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee in February 2014. Watch the webcast here.

See the full report for image credits.