data science, digital politics, smart cities...|jonathan.bright@oii.ox.ac.uk

QR codes on ballot papers

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I was asked to provide a brief comment on this BBC Oxford article about the insertion of QR codes onto ballot papers by a political party in the south east. A really smart idea (and the party is pretty interesting as well), though also one which challenges something about the way we think politics ought to work -> should people still be deciding as they hold the ballot paper in their hand?

By |2014-05-16T14:29:16+01:00May 16th, 2014|News|8 Comments

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8 Comments

  1. Julian James 18 May 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Jonathan, I’m pleased you think the QR code was a smart idea. We’ve also been hearing that the website address on the ballot paper is being used to reach us. I actually agree with you that people should not be deciding as they hold the ballot paper in their hand at the polling station. Our real intention was to improve accessibility for postal voters and that seems to have worked to a degree.

    • jonathanbright 19 May 2014 at 9:18 am

      Ah I see – makes sense. I guess I think of QR codes as something you do when you are out and about. Of course the majority of people who see it will see it in the polling station. Would be fascinated to hear how many referrals you get on the day.

      • Julian James 19 May 2014 at 9:30 am

        Yes, majority will vote on 22 May but 25% used postal votes in 2009 Euro Elections. I’ll let you have the scan numbers on Friday. Should have thought ahead and added a special page for the domain to track that as well. Trying not to miss important data collection tweaks like that but as you might imagine, getting the party launched from a standing start in January has been rather demanding!

  2. jonathanbright 19 May 2014 at 9:36 am

    I can imagine đŸ™‚ Good luck! Look forward very much to the figures

  3. Julian James 23 May 2014 at 7:48 am

    TOTAL QR Scans = 1675
    Scans until 0700 22 May = 1290

    Unfortunately there’s no way of knowing whether the scans on 22 May were at the ballot box or late postal voters. Either way, it’s clear that people weren’t rushing to scan in the polling station.

  4. jonathanbright 23 May 2014 at 10:36 am

    Interesting, thanks! Looks like about 1/3 on the day and 2/3 by post.
    Considering that turnout is pretty low in these elections I’m quite impressed by the absolute numbers.

  5. yourvoicejulianjames 23 May 2014 at 11:14 am

    Actually 23% QR code scans on the day (385 / 1675). Once we’re through the aftermath of this election it might be worth us having a chat. I believe that there is enough support to justify taking YOURvoice to the General and Local elections next year. In a few weeks we’ll be starting a public consultation process to examine how the model might be adapted. It would be very useful to have your input when the time comes.

  6. jonathanbright 28 May 2014 at 10:41 am

    Sorry, not sure why the comment system held your last up. Happy to chip in to the consultation -> you have my email as above

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