The Green Party Executive (GPEx) is ‘responsible for the overall and day-to-day direction of the Party’. Every summer, elections are held for roughly half its roles. This year, for the first time, elections will be online, operated by Electoral Reform Services (ERS), though members can still vote via a paper ballot.
There are several reasons for the switch to online.
Increasing turnout: GPEx elections traditionally have turnouts of around 20-30 per cent. Online voting should help to increase participation.
Cost: Last year, 16,000 ballot papers, return envelopes and election booklets were printed and posted to members. While kept as low as possible, costs were significant. Since then, membership has more than quadrupled, so going online will save a considerable sum.
Practicalities: With 20 volunteers, the count for last year’s GPEx elections took 10 arduous hours. Now, with over four times as many votes, it is simply no longer practical to operate a count by hand.
There are too many other benefits to name here, but it is very clear: electronic voting is an exciting, necessary and important step forward for our party.
Voting runs from 3-28 August.