Lesson video

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My name is Miss Malik, and I will be your teacher for today's lesson.

Today, we are looking at the second lesson in the digital democracy unit, and today's focus will be looking at can voter engagement be improved through digital participation? In this lesson, you will need an exercise book or piece of paper and pen to write with.

And so my quiet, so you can focus.

What will our lesson focused on? So we've already looked at what is digital citizenship last lesson.

And in today's lesson, we are going to be looking at voter engagement and if it can be improved through digital participation.

So today we are going to recall why voting is important? How does voting work? What is digital participation? And can voter engagement be improved through digital participation? And then there is an exit quiz for you to do to check your understanding from today's lesson.

Please feel free to pause the video at any point and to work at your own pace.

How does voting work? Well, I would like you to do is the next slide there is a video for you to watch.

I would like you to pause the video and complete your task.

While you're watching the video, please can you make notes on the following areas, ready for a quiz.

The four key areas that you need to look at democracy, elections, the general election and polling day.

You might want to draw a mind map or make a list to help you record your ideas.

Press play once you have finished.

In the UK, we live in a democracy which means power is in the hands of the people through our rights to vote.

Throughout history, lots of people in the UK have campaigned for the voting rights we have today.

There are lots of different types of elections to voting.

General, local, European.

Let's take a closer look at how MPs are elected to the House of Commons through the general election.

General elections take place in the UK.

Usually once every five years and every seat is up for grabs.

On polling day, voters make a choice from a list of candidates.

The candidate with the most votes then becomes that constituency's MP.

Okay, but how would I know who to vote for? Before elections candidates need to campaign to get people to vote for them.

Campaigning can involve handing out political leaflets.

Speaking in public debates, talking to people door to door visits and party political broadcasts.

Party standing for election publish a declaration of their policies during the campaign called a manifesto.

Once elected, an MP represents all that constituents.

Even the ones that didn't vote or voted for a different candidate.

The party with the most MPS elected forms the government their leader becomes prime minister.

And if there's a hung parliament where there's no clear winner than a minority government or a coalition governments may be created or a fresh election held.

Okay, let's check that you've understood what democracy is? And what an election is? How elections take place? And what is a polling station? You might want to get a different coloured pen to check your answers.

If not, you can see if you've got the right and make any changes if you need to.

So what is a democracy? Democracy means that power lies in the hands of people through that right to vote.

What is an election? This is the process where people vote to make a decision on who represents them.

This can be for that local area, like a council or parish election, or nationally like the general election.

How often does the general election take place? Once every five years.

And last but not least.

What is a polling station? This is a place that people go to on voting day to cast their vote.

Why is voting important? It took a long time for adults to be able to vote and many people campaign for years, for this to happen.

People take voting seriously as it decides who makes the decisions for the country.

In other words, it makes decisions about your life.

We are now going to watch another video.

What I would like you to do is to consider these three questions.

So why do you vote? What do you think about the representation of the people's Act 1918? And why is voting important? When I was younger my dad always used to tell me that you're stubborn.

And so you won't let anyone tell you who to play with.

You won't let anyone tell you what you watch on TV.

So why would you let anyone tell you who should make decisions for your country about having a say.

My mum never said she was a feminist.

But she always made clear that I could do anything.

And that always should tell me that as a black woman I have not always had the privilege or the rights to vote.

So when you get an opportunity to vote you should take it, never pass it up.

My first vote and experience was full of nostalgia because I vote at my primary school.

I remembered going to my primary school as a child and always go with my parents to vote.

And I felt a little bit of pressure to get it right.

Especially being back at your primary school.

To know that it was only 100 years ago that women got the vote.

I think it makes me see how far we've travelled in such a short space of time.

And I think I feel lucky to be born in the late 80s, not the late 1800s.

I think feminism now it's about making sure that all women of all backgrounds, race, class, ability sexual orientation have equal opportunities, economically socially and politically to the most privileged in society.

I think the representation of the People's Act in 1918 was key towards empowerment because it was a step.

It was a step to being a little bit more equal, a little bit more visible.

A stepping stone for women's rights but it's only allowed to some women to vote.

And those women would have been women of a certain class.

So I don't sit and think that law alone has allowed me to be, you know a black woman that can vote or, you know a black woman that can enter social circles.

But as time has gone on, it's acted as a foundation, it acted as a stepping stone, a bridge for more legislation to be passed to let more women vote.

I think what voting does women it makes them so empowered.

It's one of these rare spaces in society or one of these rare actions that we take that takes place in society, where we are truly equal.

I mean, as a black woman, nobody looks at my vote and says that means less because she's a black woman compared to my white straight male counterpart and his vote.

So it really makes you feel empowered and it makes you feel visible, I think in a way.

So, yeah.

Now that you've watched the video I'd like you to think about your own decision.

So do you agree with what Tobi has said on the representation of the People's Act? The Tobi says I won't let anyone tell me who should make decisions for my country without having a say.

I think the representation of the People's Act 1918 was key to this because it was a step to being a little bit more equal, a little bit more visible a stepping stone for women's rights for it is important to make you feel empowered and it makes you feel visible.

Why these women weren't allowed to vote and women fought long and hard to be able to vote and have a say.

How far do you agree with what Tobi says? You can draw a line and put across in the line that represents your view or you can write a short paragraph explaining your opinion.

Now we are going to look at what a citizen would do if they participate politically.

So they might have a membership of a political party.

They might vote or join or support pressure groups.

So the image here shows different examples of political parties.

So currently the conservatives are the political party who are in power.

Although voting is very important, there are some people who may not be involved in politics.

People are politically disengaged.

If they do not know value of participate in the democratic process.

In the UK political disengagement takes different forms and it's more prevalent amongst certain groups than others.

This report goes on to explain that there are different ways people can show they are disengaged including not voting, not registering to vote and not standing to be an MP or Councillor.

So the document is from the House of Commons it explains the different groups on that political disengagement based on different factors.

So for example, age, ethnicity that work stay as that agenda inquire.

You think people might be disengaged.

You can do this by drawing mind map or making a list.

And a way to do that is to think about the different groups in our society.

Here are some examples of different groups of people that may be politically disengaged.

People that have been left let down in the past, disabled people who feel like they have no recognition of support offered to them.

Their voice is not heard.

And also young people, there are no policies in place for them.

And the vote in age in this country is 18.

Some people might want to vote earlier, but the opportunity isn't there.

So they might think, well, I don't need to be interested in politics at this stage because I'm not able to vote.

Now, we're going to look at two different people and the problems that they face regarding voting and why they may be politically disengaged.

George says that he does not have access to a computer.

"My mobile phone is not a smartphone.

So I'm unable to download apps to keep up to date with the news." What problems does George face regarding voting? Aisha has a disability.

She says, "I'm unable to go on full as easily as I would like to." What problems does Aisha face regarding voting? You can pause the video and write down your ideas.

Either as bullet points or as a mind map.

Here is another example of political disengagement.

Myles says that he does not have time to go to the polling station.

"I want to be able to vote in a quick way that is easy and via the internet." What problems does Myles face regarding voting? So you can add your answers to the mind map or your bullet point list.

How did you do? Aisha due to her disability finds it harder to vote than she would like to.

It can be a challenge for a number of reasons for disabled people to access poling stations or information regarding for independent on that disability.

George also finds it difficult to keep up to date with what's happening in the world around him.

This could mean he would find it difficult to make an informed decision regarding who to vote for at any election.

And last but not least Myles.

Due to his busy lifestyle with working Myles is unable to take the time to go and vote.

He would rather use E-voting as it's quicker and easier but unfortunately this option isn't available.

Now, we are going to look at the reasons for the lack of participation.

What I would like you to do is to look at the icons below and think what do they represent and how do they link to a reason for a lack of participation.

You can pause the video and either draw a mind map or make a list.

How did you do? There are a lot of different initiatives including digital democracy and the use of social media that are being developed by the government to improve voter engagement and political participation.

So the reasons for lack of participation in politics.

The first thing being that people do not have internet access because of the way society is we are very reliant on technology, social media of phones or laptops.

So those people who do not have access are immediately sidelined from being able to access social media campaigns, the news, key information.

There could also be a lack of interest.

So people are not wanting to find out about politics and what is needed for the country, different campaigns and how they can participate, what changes they can make.

There are also practical obstacles.

So people are unable to attend a polling station.

People are physically not able to attend to vote.

Personal practical obstacles, linked back to Aisha in the previous section, how her disability meant much she was unable to vote and therefore disengaged.

And people do not have the knowledge and skills to use technology.

So let's recap.

What is digital democracy? Voter engagement could be increased by using digital platforms and digital technology.

Let's recap what we mean by digital democracy as a voter engagement would be an important part of this.

Digital democracy is the use of digital and online methods to support key functions of democracy.

For example, online information about elections, digital campaigns and citizen consultations by government, citizen participation in parliamentary debates and committees and electronic voting by MPs or the electorate.

There are different kinds of digital technologies and online platforms which are starting to be created to make it easier for citizens to engage with and participate in democracy.

So an example of that would be the census this year census is online and you are able to complete it via the internet where I was previously.

You would have to fill in a form which would be sent to your house.

How can we improve voter engagement? Well, I would like you to do is to rank each statement from one to nine.

One being your most important improving voter engagement and nine being your least important way of improving voter engagement.

Pause the video and move on when you are ready.

What is E-Democracy? We're now going to look at a case study, focusing on Estonia and is an EU member.

And they have been using internet for more than 10 years.

In 2015, more than 30% of voters cast their votes through E-voting.

How did this work? During the pre-voting period, voters log onto the system using an ID card or mobile ID and cast a ballot.

The vote as identity is removed from the ballot before it reaches the National Electoral Commission for counting, thereby ensuring anonymity.

The system is much cheaper than a paper based election.

The fact that is not paper based means that it's also, it's a lot quicker and more efficient.

What I would like you to do now is to watch the video and make a list of what E-voting is and what Estonia's methods where.

Voting is a simple and easy way to participate in voting.

You'll need a secure computer with an internet connection and either an ID card or a mobile ID.

Once you're online, make sure you have reliable antivirus software installed and the latest digital signature software.

Download the voter application from the website valimised.

ee, start it, and identify yourself using your ID card or mobile ID, then choose the candidate you want to vote for and confirm your vote by digital signature.

The application will prompt you with detailed instructions on how to do that.

The votes that have been cast electronically are encrypted and moved through the internet to a central server.

Immediately after voting each voter can check whether their vote has reached the server in the form it was cast using a smart device application.

The encrypted votes can be opened only with the security key of the national electoral committee which has been divided between the committee members.

The whole committee must come together for the opening of the votes.

Internet voting takes place under the constant and watchful eye of observers who monitor that everything is secure.

The encrypted votes are opened and counted only after all personal data has been separated from the votes.

These precautions ensure that no one will find out who you voted for.

Remember you are the only person who can decide who you vote for.

Nobody has the right to influence or direct you in whom to vote for.

It's also forbidden to share the details of your digital identity, that is, to give your ID card, mobile ID and the PIN codes that accompany them to someone else.

If you wish you can change your vote up until the end of the internet voting period, simply by voting again.

You can also go and vote at the polling station up until a Wednesday evening of the election week.

If you have voted both electronically and by using a paper ballot, only the vote cast on paper at the polling station will be taken into account.

I would like you to do now is decide if you think these are advantages or disadvantages of E-voting.

You could either draw a table and add the statements in there.

So two separate columns advantages, disadvantages or you could do a mind map or a list.

How did you do? Here are the correct order for the advantages or disadvantages of E-voting.

So the first one, an advantage.

Younger people are more likely to vote ease and E-voting and this would result in an increase in engagement.

E-voting would make it easier for a number of people with disabilities to vote.

So they're not having to leave the comfort of their home to go to a polling station and cast their vote.

E-voting could also help to prevent people from making a mistake on the ballot form.

As people could be told they have not completed the vote correctly.

It could also be more convenient for everybody making it more likely that more people would start voting.

So there would be a bigger voter turnout.

However, there are also some disadvantages.

E-voting may prevent some people from voting as they do not have access to the technology or the skills needed to use E-voting.

And E-voting and is less secure than voting in person.

So it could lead to fraudulent voting.

So people could hack the system and use fake ID cards which would result in false votes and inaccurate numbers.

Thinking back too the situations that George, Myles and Aisha were in.

Do you think that E-voting in would help them? You can go back to the slide, which explains that situation if you need to or look at the work that you've written within the lesson to help you answer this question.

Let's feedback.

George feels that E-voting and would not help him as he does not have access to any digital technology.

Even if he did, he would not know how to use it.

He says "It's much better for me to go to a polling station to vote.

Or better still, somewhere I go normally like a supermarket.

It is hard to get out on one day as well.

So for me along the election would help too." Aisha say, "E-voting would certainly help me to vote due to my disability.

I rely on other people to help me get to the places I need to go.

If I were able to vote from home using my laptop or computer, I would not have to ask people to take me to the polling station.

This would make feel more independent." And Myles, so situation he says, "As my life is so busy and for my job I spend so much of the day on the internet, it makes sense to me for people to vote online.

E-voting would mean I could vote at any stage in the day while at work and not have to worry about leaving work early or making a special trip.

I would be much more likely evolve if it were that simple and convenient.".