Areeq Chowdhury

Chief Executive of WebRoots Democracy

Areeq Chowdhury is the Founder and Chief Executive of the voluntary, youth-led, think tank WebRoots Democracy (the Institute for Digital Democracy).

Areeq was born and brought up in Manchester and studied Economics and Political Science at the University of Birmingham where he began researching the relationship between the internet and political participation. After graduating in 2013, he moved to London and has worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the London Assembly, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and KPMG.

At the age of 21, he founded WebRoots Democracy which has been leading the campaign for online voting in UK elections. He has authored and edited two reports on the topic: Viral Voting (2015) and Secure Voting (2016).

Sarah Champion, I Think You're Racist. There. I Said It.

Had this article been written by an MP from any other political party or someone like Donald Trump or Nigel Farage, what would the reaction have been? The fact that the article has been penned by an MP from the proudly anti-racist Labour Party is reason enough to be shocked, nevermind the fact that the MP is the Shadow Minister for "Equalities."
14/08/2017 15:53 BST

We Need To Address 'Voter Apathy'

How far must turnout fall before we decide to take action? There needs to be a political awakening and a democratic drive by the next Government to undo this decline. Otherwise, year by year, election by election, we will slowly become a democracy in name only.
08/05/2017 13:25 BST

Facebook And Fact-Checkers Can't Defeat Fake News, Only Education Can

Fake news, cyber-trolls, echo chamber. We're in a new era. An era where digital technology has a tangible impact on our lives and in our politics. It's 'Democracy 2.0'. Although there are so many possibilities, we need to understand and clamp down on the abuse, in order to exploit the potential. There are so many positives and negatives of the internet. It's time for action on both.
27/01/2017 11:06 GMT

London Is Headed Towards Democratic Dysfunction In 2020

With all of the new challenges online voting presents, it would equally open up a whole realm of opportunity. Opportunity to resign issues like 'accidentally spoilt ballots' to the dustbin, and opportunity to enable a more accessible method of voting for Londoners with disabilities and vision-impairments, as well as the city's youth and long-hour workers.
16/11/2016 10:52 GMT

Brexit Would Be a Victory for Racists

As the date of the EU referendum vote draws closer and closer, polls are worryingly beginning to show the Brexit campaign stretching out in front. But do we truly understand the intentions behind the Leave campaign and the knock-on impacts a Brexit vote will have on our country?
15/06/2016 09:30 BST

Dear David Cameron, Don't Turn a Blind Eye to Appalling Voter Turnouts...

It isn't fair to say that people are "apathetic" or just "don't care" as some commentators may have you believe. These are important elections, important decisions. People do care about the direction of issues such as social care, education, and policing, it's borderline crazy to claim otherwise. So we need solutions, and sustainable ones at that.
24/01/2016 22:12 GMT

Online Voting: One Rule for Political Parties, Another Rule for Trade Unions?

I agree that greater democracy is a good thing, not just for unions, but in general. However, I fail to see how introducing a minimum threshold whilst enforcing 20th century postal balloting methods in a 21st Century society is going to bring about that ideal... It is a matter of fairness and progress - if politics and business can benefit from technology and vote online, shouldn't unions be able to?
10/11/2015 09:22 GMT

Online Voting Is the 21st Century Answer to Poor Voter Turnout in the UK

Whilst you and I will have grown up in the pre-digital age of VCRs, audio cassettes, and encyclopaedias, the 2020 general election will be the first election where there will be a generation of first-time voters who have known nothing other than a lifestyle of digital accessibility.
14/05/2015 17:18 BST

Should the UK Introduce Online Voting in Elections?

In a country where 38million of us are socialising online, 36million of us are shopping online, 26million of us are banking online, and 4.5million of us are dating online; it is perhaps unsurprising that 65% of the public are in support of being able to cast their vote online. But what would be the benefits of such a move?
03/03/2015 08:50 GMT

Getting Back to the Future of Voting

So yes, it is fair to say that our current methods of voting in the UK are incredibly out-dated and simply do not reflect the culture change that has occurred in the Google Generation.
06/12/2014 23:26 GMT

The Campaign for Online Voting Starts Here...

Whilst online voting will benefit everyone of all ages to vote, we recognise that there are various causes of low voter turnout, particularly amongst young people. As such, the organisation will also be researching and highlighting these causes and help ensure that the voice of young people is heard amongst the decision-makers in Westminster.
27/05/2014 13:20 BST

The Revolution Will Be Tweeted: The Need for Online Voting in General Elections

We have a problem in the UK with engaging young people to vote. In the last three General Elections, the turnout for young people aged 18 to 24 has been less than half; the lowest of all age groups. This needs to be addressed and I have a solution. We need to modernise our democracy and introduce an online voting option for all UK elections.
26/02/2014 17:32 GMT