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Online voting: Boon or bane for democracy?

Online voting: Boon or bane for democracy? Estonia is the only country in the world where all voters can vote online innational elections.In the 2015 election, 31% of voters did so. This paper discusses thesociology and politics of online voting in Estonia. I first show that onlinevoting is a partisan project. Liberal, conservative, and social democraticparties support online voting as a way of modernizing the electoral system,while populist and agrarian parties oppose it as a tool for politicalmanipulation. I then show that online voting is demographically andpolitically biased. Online voters are more urban, richer, andbetter-educated than conventional voters and non-voters. The oppositionleft-populist Center Party receives fewer votes online than the governingmarket-liberal Reform Party. This is a bad thing for democracy and Estoniashould discontinue online voting. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Polity IOS Press

Online voting: Boon or bane for democracy?

Information Polity , Volume 20 (4): 11 – Nov 25, 2015

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Publisher
IOS Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved
ISSN
1570-1255
eISSN
1875-8754
DOI
10.3233/IP-150373
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Estonia is the only country in the world where all voters can vote online innational elections.In the 2015 election, 31% of voters did so. This paper discusses thesociology and politics of online voting in Estonia. I first show that onlinevoting is a partisan project. Liberal, conservative, and social democraticparties support online voting as a way of modernizing the electoral system,while populist and agrarian parties oppose it as a tool for politicalmanipulation. I then show that online voting is demographically andpolitically biased. Online voters are more urban, richer, andbetter-educated than conventional voters and non-voters. The oppositionleft-populist Center Party receives fewer votes online than the governingmarket-liberal Reform Party. This is a bad thing for democracy and Estoniashould discontinue online voting.

Journal

Information PolityIOS Press

Published: Nov 25, 2015

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