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Internet voting and turnout: Evidence from Switzerland


Germann, Micha; Serdült, Uwe (2017). Internet voting and turnout: Evidence from Switzerland. Electoral Studies, 47:1-12.

Abstract

Internet voting (i-voting) is often discussed as a potential remedy against declining turnout rates. This paper presents new evidence on the causal effect of i-voting on turnout, drawing on trials conducted in two Swiss cantons: Geneva and Zurich. Both Geneva and Zurich constitute hard cases for i-voting, given that i-voting was introduced in the presence of postal voting. However, this setting allows us to test some of the more optimistic claims regarding i-voting's ability to increase turnout. Empirically, we exploit the advantageous circumstance that federal legislation created a situation coming close to a natural experiment, with some of Geneva's and Zurich's municipalities participating in i-voting trials and others not. Using difference-in-differences estimation, we find that i-voting did not increase turnout in the cantons of Geneva and Zurich.

Abstract

Internet voting (i-voting) is often discussed as a potential remedy against declining turnout rates. This paper presents new evidence on the causal effect of i-voting on turnout, drawing on trials conducted in two Swiss cantons: Geneva and Zurich. Both Geneva and Zurich constitute hard cases for i-voting, given that i-voting was introduced in the presence of postal voting. However, this setting allows us to test some of the more optimistic claims regarding i-voting's ability to increase turnout. Empirically, we exploit the advantageous circumstance that federal legislation created a situation coming close to a natural experiment, with some of Geneva's and Zurich's municipalities participating in i-voting trials and others not. Using difference-in-differences estimation, we find that i-voting did not increase turnout in the cantons of Geneva and Zurich.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:02 Faculty of Law > Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau (C2D)
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
Uncontrolled Keywords:Internet voting; electoral turnout; electoral participation
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:14 Mar 2017 09:53
Last Modified:07 Apr 2017 01:04
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0261-3794
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2017.03.001

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Language: English
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Embargo till: 2020-03-13