Users' Experiences with E-Voting: A Comparative Case Study
University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute
Peter Van den Besselaar
Rathenau Institute - Science System Assessment Department; VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Social Sciences
Journal of Electronic Governance, Vol. 2, No. 4, Winter 2009
A system for e-voting was developed and tested in fourteen field studies. This enabled us to investigate the actual experiences of users when deploying this type of e-governance technology. In this paper we describe the set-up of the field studies, and discuss the main results. Are users satisfied with e-voting technology and its usability? Do different user groups differ in their uses of the technology, and in their opinions about it? If so, which groups can be discerned? Does this point at a digital divide? Will users be extra motivated to use new e-governance technologies thereby increasing voter turnout? Our empirical study found that there is a serious risk that if e-voting systems replace the traditional voting systems in the future, it may have the unintended effect that it will exclude large groups of citizens from participating in the democratic process. Moreover, the assumption by many policy makers that e-voting will increase overall voter turnout is not supported by our research.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: e-voting, usability, turnout, digital divide
Date posted: August 3, 2010
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