If you were asked to identify the most significant law enacted in the past 30 years, which one would you choose? That was the question posed in an experiment that the French Parliament (Assemblée nationale) carried out. Students from more than 30 universities from all over the country were invited to pick the most meaningful amongst 30 existing laws of the past 30 years. One would expect the results to have been quite varied, however, one law outnumbered all the others chosen by far: the legalisation of same-sex marriage (2013). The result might not come as a surprise, since the elected law is a generational landmark. At the time, the legislation faced large resistance, with 1.4m people demonstrating against it. Now, the law has become part of France’s everyday life, with already more than 60,000 same-sex marriages celebrated.
Students have cast votes using Electis.app designed by Electis, providing both security and anonymity (a big difference from polling or petition solutions). By participating, the students expressed their support for innovative voting mechanisms. New technologies often require a younger, more experimental generation to drive them forward. Just as they voted in favour of a law that their parents largely rejected, the students used a voting tool that the previous generation still has no experience of.
Young voters crave new ways to experience and participate in democracy. The e-voting revolution is accelerating, as innovative solutions are being tested all over the world. Creating trust amongst voters is still a peak to be conquered and this is why medium-stake elections are the low-risk way to start experimenting with these new tools. Creating confidence in this new system will require full transparency, using open-source data and codes, as was the case in the French Parliament’s experiment. E-voting will be in the hands of citizens.