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Lero research: Majority in favour of national ID-card and e-voting from home

Mon, 16 Nov 2020

A nationwide survey by Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software based at University of Limerick, has found that 58% of the Irish population would support electronic voting from home in elections and referendums and an even greater number, 69%, favour the introduction of a national identity card.

Lero, a world leader in data privacy and cybersecurity research, commissioned RED C Research to conduct the survey last month. Just over 1,000 people participated in the study which found that almost six out of ten people (58%) are in favour of electronic voting from home in elections and referendums. In contrast, just one in three (30%) opposes the idea, and 12% answered ‘don’t know’.

The Lero survey also found that seven out of ten people (69%) are in favour of the introduction of a national identity card which is accessible by them and public services including local authorities and schools and colleges. Just 17% of those polled were opposed to a national ID card, and 14% responded ‘don’t know’.

Lero Director, Professor Brian Fitzgerald said Irish people’s support for the introduction of electronic voting and a national ID card has remained remarkably consistent.

“Irish people are clearly at home in the digital world. This survey confirms they are comfortable with having important elements of their lives, such as elections and personal records, move online,” added Professor Fitzgerald.

Professor Regina Connolly of Dublin City University Business School and a Lero funded investigator said the findings of this survey highlight the increasing digital literacy of Irish people.  

“National identity cards are employed in most EU countries and have potential to fundamentally reshape the relationship between citizens and the state, providing faster, safe and secure access to government services, increasing transparency and strengthening the economy.  However, public buy-in is essential for the success of ID cards and this survey provides encouraging evidence in that regard,” she added.

A similar survey of more than 1,000 adults conducted by RED C for Lero in June of 2018 also found that a majority (59%) favour electronic voting from home for elections and referendums, while three quarters (75%) were in favour of a national ID card.

RED C interviewed a random nationally representative sample of 1,001 adults aged 18+ online between 8th and 13th October 2020. Interviews were conducted online and the results weighted to the profile of all adults.