Media

Areeq has participated in a number of media discussions across television, radio, and podcasts on topics around digital democracy, votes at 16, and Brexit. He has been invited as a guest on outlets including the BBC, Sky News, RT, and LBC. Areeq has also written for the Huffington Post; Media Diversified; the London School of Economics; Left Foot Forward; the Fabian Review; and Sky News.

Details of some of these appearances and articles can be found below:

 BBC News: Online voting trial in Scotland backed by leading academics

The signatories, led by the think tank WebRoots Democracy, suggest online voting would make elections “more efficient, more accessible and more engaging”. Signatories to the letter include leading academics in cyber security and political science and the heads of charities including Disability Equality Scotland and the Army Families Federation.

sky news icon Sky News: Welsh Assembly announces plans to introduce e-voting

The chief executive of youth-led think-tank WebRoots Democracy, Areeq Chowdhury, told Sky News he was “delighted” at the announcement. He added: “Online voting has huge potential to engage a new generation of young voters in Wales, as well as enable voters with vision impairments and disabilities to independently cast ballots. Now that both the Welsh and Scottish Governments have committed to pilots, it is time for the UK Government to follow suit.”

Futurism_Logo Futurism: Could digital voting create a society that is truly governed by the people?

Liquid democracy is an interesting idea, and the idea of giving everyone the power to vote on everything in the palm of their hands is a powerful one. In theory, it could lead to a system where everyone’s views are meaningfully listened to and acted upon, with the will of the majority truly represented.

bbc newsnight logo BBC Newsnight: Do politicians know the electorate?

John Sweeney went to Canvey Island to ask the views of residents, while Emily Maitlis discusses the report findings with Sophie Gaston, acting director of think tank Demos, along with Danny Lockwood, publisher of West Yorkshire’s The Press newspaper and Areeq Chowdhury, chief executive of WebRoots Democracy, a digital democracy organisation.

daily-express Daily Express: Newsnight: ‘It is horrific’ I would be judged for flying England flag, BBC guest bemoans

WebRoots Democracy chief executive Areeq Chowdhury said: “So we should address the issue which is that people have taken that flag and turned it into meaning something that to some people seems racist and that is the real issue.

 BBC Radio Jersey: Interview on online voting for the States of Jersey

Sara Palmer from BBC Radio Jersey talks to Areeq Chowdhury from WebRoots Democracy, after a survey finds 77% of young people would be more likely to vote if they could do so online.

 BBC News: What if we could cast our votes in elections online?

BBC News piece on the pros and cons of online voting following the publication of the WebRoots Democracy ‘Cost of Voting’ report which found that voting online would be the most preferred method for young people.

media-diversified-logo-03 Media Diversified: It’s time to reimagine our dated democracy and let people vote online

In an era where coins have been replaced by cash, cash has been replaced with cards, and cards have been replaced by contactless smartphone payments, shouldn’t we be aiming to be a little more innovative? Clinging to the status quo will only maintain a failing system and ensure we relinquish our title as the pioneers of modern democracy.

forces tv Forces TV: Report suggests military personnel should trial online voting

A think tank has suggested that online voting in elections should be trialled for British military staff based overseas. A report by the youth-led WebRoots Democracy says members of the armed forces face difficulties registering to vote and an unreliable postal system when attempting cast their ballot.

daily-mail-icon Daily Mail: Armed forces should trial electronic election voting system, report suggests

Areeq Chowdhury, chief executive of WebRoots Democracy, said: “The barriers to democratic engagement for our military personnel posted overseas should be dismantled, and technology has a role to play in doing so.”

 BBC Radio Wales: Interview on online voting for Wales

BBC Radio Wales interview with Areeq Chowdhury about the Welsh Government’s plans to consult on online voting and WebRoots Democracy’s report, Military Voting.

 LBC: Discussion on Welsh Government’s consultation on online voting

Clive Bull from LBC interviews Areeq Chowdhury about the Welsh Government’s plans to consult on the introduction of online voting in elections.

 BBC News: Online voting for voters with vision impairments and disabilities

BBC Breakfast piece on the need for online voting for voters with vision impairments and disabilities, broadcast on UK General Election day 2017.

 The Guardian: Democracy? There’s an app for that – the tech upstarts trying to ‘hack’ British politics

Across the desk, Areeq Chowdhury, 24, is working single-handedly on WebRoots Democracy, which started as a campaign for online voting but has evolved into a thinktank “covering the use of personal data, fake news, e-petitions, voter advice applications”.

lush2 Lush: Clicktivism: Democracy in the digital world

Areeq Chowdhury from WebRoots Democracy coins a new phrase for the digital era’s political activism: clicktivism. He said: “We can now easily find out information on what is happening in the political world from a multitude of sources, and we can share that information with hundreds of friends or thousands of followers with the click of a button.”

voting counts Voting Counts: The Rules of Engagement Podcast – Episode 1: Online Voting

In this first episode, we speak to Areeq from WebRoots Democracy, a campaign to introduce online voting in national UK elections.

refinery29Refinery29: Why Young People Must Use Their Voice In The General Election

As Areeq Chowdhury, chief executive of WebRoots Democracy, a campaign for digital voting, said last night, the government has no incentive to open up or change a system that’s working in its favour.

hp Huffington Post: We Need To Address “Voter Apathy”

Undoubtedly, millions again will not vote on June the 8th. Maybe it will be 10, 15, or even 20 million this time. 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.

 The Guardian: Local elections point up UK’s democratic crisis

A letter by WebRoots Democracy Chief Executive, Areeq Chowdhury, following poor voter turnouts in the 2017 English Mayoral elections.

 BBC Click: Online voting with facial recognition technology?

Areeq Chowdhury from WebRoots Democracy discusses the potential for online voting in elections, as BBC Click explore Smartmatic’s new voting app which verifies voter identity using facial recognition.

 BBC Newsbeat: Selfies could make election voting ‘more accessible’, app makers say

Areeq Chowdhury from youth-focused think tank WebRoots Democracy tells Newsbeat the electoral system is ‘backwards’.

logo-dip-large Design is Political: WebRoots Democracy wants to bring voting online

The Institute of Digital Democracy, more commonly known as WebRoots Democracy, is a volunteer-led think tank focused on the intersection of technology and democratic participation. In short, the organisation feels it is high time that the democratic process is available through digital platforms and, crucially, that voters should be able to cast their vote online during elections.

city university.jpegCity University TV News: Discussion on Commons inquiry into fake news

Areeq Chowdhury from WebRoots Democracy discusses so-called ‘fake news’ with Maria Kouka from City University TV News. Filming by Morgan Fury.

the-times-logo The Times: Cyberattacks make online voting too risky, warns ex-spy chief

Areeq Chowdhury, chief executive of WebRoots Democracy, which campaigns for electronic voting, said: “There is no evidence to show that online voting is more susceptible to fraud than the paper alternative.”

rt-icon RT UK: Ex-MI6 chief warns electronic voting presents serious hacking risk

Areeq Chowdhury, head of the WebRoots Democracy campaign for electronic balloting, told the BBC that there is “no evidence to show that online voting is more susceptible to fraud than the paper alternative.

“There have been more instances of fraud across the world with paper votes than electronic ones, and the recent recounts of electronic votes in the US showed no evidence of hacking,” he added.

 The Independent: Online voting could leave British elections vulnerable to hacking, former MI6 head warns

Areeq Chowdhury, chief executive of WebRoots Democracy, said voter engagement would “only falter and decline” without online voting and dismissed Sir John’s claim. “There is no evidence to show that online voting is more susceptible to fraud than the paper alternative,” he said.

 BBC News: Ex-MI6 boss warns over electronic voting risk

Areeq Chowdhury, chief executive of WebRoots Democracy, which campaigns for electronic voting, said: “There is no evidence to show that online voting is more susceptible to fraud than the paper alternative.”

 The Guardian: ID cards and wider issues of voter engagement

A letter written by IDD Chief Executive Areeq Chowdhury is published in the Guardian in response to the Government’s announcement to introduce identity checks at polling stations.

hp Huffington Post: 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.

Fabian logo Fabian Review: Online voting and digital democracy: Bridging the democratic divide in the UK

Digital democracy, the next frontier in modern democratic reform, is a concept that isn’t given the prominence it deserves in British political discourse; but it is a concept that is fundamental to bridging the widening democratic divide between the young and the old.

 BBC News: Discussion on the 2016 Labour Leadership contest

Areeq Chowdhury discusses the 2016 Labour Leadership contest.

sky news icon Sky News: Discussion on youth voter engagement and Brexit

Areeq Chowdhury from WebRoots Democracy, and Kenny Imafidon from Bite the Ballot discuss youth voter engagement and Brexit on the day of the EU referendum results.

progressive-radio-logo-300x231 Progressive Radio Network FM: Infectious Myth – Online Voting

Interview focusing on online voting for US radio network PRN FM.

partly political broadcast Partly Political Broadcast: Episode 17

Tiernan Douieb talks to Areeq Chowdhury at WebRoots Democracy about online voting.

LFF-logo-large Left Foot Forward: Trade Union Bill: Why it’s time for online strike ballots

The case for introducing online strike ballots for Trade Unions in the UK.

 BBC Daily Politics: Discussion on online voting for the UK

The Daily Politics discuss online voting for the UK with Liz Kendall MP (Labour), Areeq Chowdhury (WebRoots Democracy), and Jason Kitcat (Open Rights Group) on the anniversary of the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy and following the publication of the Secure Voting report.

hp Huffington Post: Dear David Cameron, Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to Appalling Voter Turnouts…

An open letter to UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, published in the Huffington Post.

 LBC: Discussion of the WebRoots Democracy/YouGov poll on online voting

Clive Bull on LBC radio discusses online voting with listeners following a poll by WebRoots Democracy and YouGov showing the majority of Londoners are in favour.

london-live London Live: Should online voting be introduced ahead of the mayoral election?

It was a big talking point ahead of the general elections in May – should we be given the option to vote online?

 BBC London 94.9: Online voting discussion on the Breakfast Show with Paul Ross and Penny Smith

The Breakfast Show with Paul Ross and Penny Smith discuss online voting following a poll done by WebRoots Democracy and YouGov showing majority support in London.

 London School of Economics: Online voting is the 21st century answer to poor voter turnout in the UK

In the wake of last week’s elections, Areeq Chowdhury argues that online voting is a potential solution to poor voter turnout.

 Channel NewsAsia: Between the Lines: Close Contest

Akash Paun (Institute for Government), Ian Dunt (Politics.co.uk), and Areeq Chowdhury (WebRoots Democracy) discuss the upcoming General Election on Singapore-based Channel NewsAsia.

 Democratic Audit UK: Safe, secure, and sure to increase youth engagement: the Government should introduce online voting for UK elections

The Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy recently proposed introducing online voting in time for the 2020 General Election, an aspiration which looks well intentioned if ambitious. Here, the Chief Executive of WebRoots Democracy, Areeq Chowdhury, argues in favour of allowing voting via the internet on the grounds that the security risks are overstated and that it would increase engagement amongst young people.

 BBC Three Counties Radio: Discussion on online voting

Iain Lee discusses the Viral Voting report recommendation for online voting to be piloted in the next Watford Mayoral Election, with WebRoots Democracy founder Areeq Chowdhury.

hp Huffington Post: 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?

BBC Radio 5 Live: Daily Show discussion on online voting in elections

Adrian Chiles discusses the Speaker’s recommendation for online voting by 2020 with Conservative MP, Robert Halfon and WebRoots Democracy founder, Areeq Chowdhury.

 BBC News: Discussion on Speaker’s recommendation for online voting by 2020

The Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy has published its report which recommends that the UK should have online voting by the 2020 election.

sky news icon Sky News: Britain ‘Must Take Lead’ In Online Voting

All voters should be able to vote online within five years, according to a parliamentary commission set up to get more people involved with politics.

hp Huffington Post: Getting Back to the Future of Voting

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.

london-live London Live: Should we lower the voting age?

Panel discussion alongside vInspired and Shout Out UK about whether 16 and 17 year olds should get the right to vote,

hp Huffington Post: Could an Online Voting Option Have Enticed the Half a Million That Didn’t Vote in the #IndyRef?

Whilst over two million Scots will be feeling relieved and more than one and half million nursing feelings of disappointment, there will be over half a million Scottish people confessing to having not voted in the independence referendum.

sky news icon Sky News: Debate: Should The UK Get E-Voting?

An online panel debates whether Britain should move to a virtual ballot box and whether e-voting would boost voter turnout.

LFF-logo-large Left Foot Forward: It’s time to embrace the digital age and introduce online voting

The popularity of clicktivism, e-petitions, and political blogs are evidence that people are willing to politically engage online.

hp Huffington Post: The Campaign for Online Voting Starts Here…

It is time for the UK to start researching and developing a system of online voting for local and general elections. If we are to be serious about tackling low voter turnouts, we need to modernise the method of selecting our political representatives.

hp Huffington Post: 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.