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What drives fidelity to internet voting? Evidence from the roll–out of internet voting in Switzerland


Mendez, Fernando; Serdült, Uwe (2017). What drives fidelity to internet voting? Evidence from the roll–out of internet voting in Switzerland. Government Information Quarterly:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

To date, most of our knowledge regarding individuals' propensity to internet vote comes from cross-sectional survey data. In this paper we try to break new ground by tracking individuals' actual behaviour over time. Specifically, we analyze citizens' choice of voting channel by exploiting a unique longitudinal dataset – the Canton of Geneva's vote registry database. Our aim is to explore patterns in the propensity to use internet voting among eligible voters. To this end, we first mine the registry data to identify a subset of voters that have experimented with internet voting. In a second stage, we explore the effects of key socio–demographic variables on individual voters' fidelity to internet voting. Our results are counter–intuitive. While the conventional wisdom is that younger voters are most likely to be mobilised to use the internet voting channel, we show that this is not the case in one of the few political systems where internet voting is readily available. Indeed, our evidence suggests that it is the older voters rather than ‘digital natives' (i.e., the younger voters) that are most likely to remain faithful to internet voting once they have experimented with it.

Abstract

To date, most of our knowledge regarding individuals' propensity to internet vote comes from cross-sectional survey data. In this paper we try to break new ground by tracking individuals' actual behaviour over time. Specifically, we analyze citizens' choice of voting channel by exploiting a unique longitudinal dataset – the Canton of Geneva's vote registry database. Our aim is to explore patterns in the propensity to use internet voting among eligible voters. To this end, we first mine the registry data to identify a subset of voters that have experimented with internet voting. In a second stage, we explore the effects of key socio–demographic variables on individual voters' fidelity to internet voting. Our results are counter–intuitive. While the conventional wisdom is that younger voters are most likely to be mobilised to use the internet voting channel, we show that this is not the case in one of the few political systems where internet voting is readily available. Indeed, our evidence suggests that it is the older voters rather than ‘digital natives' (i.e., the younger voters) that are most likely to remain faithful to internet voting once they have experimented with it.

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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; Public policy; Federalism; Direct democracy; Data mining
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:28 Jun 2017 15:19
Last Modified:30 Aug 2017 22:59
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0740-624X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.giq.2017.05.005

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Language: English
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Embargo till: 2018-06-20