Electronic Voting and Democratic Issues: An Introduction

  • Norbert Kersting
  • Harald Baldersheim


The rapid spread of the Internet since the 1990s has led to high expectations for democracy. The Internet has been presented as a means to more transparency in political life and new forms of political communication. Especially with regard to elections, the core process of modern democracies, the Internet has promised concrete and speedy advantages (Slaton 1992). Online elections may simplify and speed up the electoral process and also reduce costs, and the counting of votes and presentation of results may be carried out faster and more reliably. The falling rates of electoral participation that have been observed in many Western democracies since the 1980s have triggered a search for new ways of stimulating voter interest in elections and politics, and the Internet has naturally been a focus of hope in this respect. Some even claim that electronic voting and other uses of the Internet may fundamentally change the nature of the democratic process as we have known it. Lower costs of political communication could, for example, herald a new dawn for direct democracy (Coleman 2001; Gibson 2001), and perhaps the ideals of discursive democracy may finally be realized in cyberspace. Public Man (Sennet 1977) may rise again. Through Internet participation and Internet protest, as was the idea of some protagonists, a new form of strong democracy may emerge (see Barber 1989, 1999; Tsagarousianu 1998).


Smart Card Voter Turnout Direct Democracy American Political Science Review Electoral Participation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aldrich, J. (1993) ‘Rational Choice and Turnout’, in American Journal of Political Science, 37: 246–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Almond, G. and Verba, S. (eds) (1980) The Civic Culture Revisited. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  3. Alvarez, M. and Nagler, J. (2000) The Likely Consequences of Internet Voting for Political Representation. Los Angeles: Loyola Law School.Google Scholar
  4. Baldersheim, H. (2001) E-Government in Nordic Cities and Regions. Canterbury: ECPR Congress.Google Scholar
  5. Barber, B. (1984). Strong Democracy. Berkeley: Berkeley Press.Google Scholar
  6. Barber, B. (1999) ‘Three Scenarios for the Future of Technology and Strong Democracy’, in Political Science Quarterly, 113: 573–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barnes, S., Kaase, M. et al. (1979) Political Action. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Brookings Institute (2000) The Future of Internet Voting. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute.Google Scholar
  9. Buchstein, H. (2000) ‘Präsenzwahl, Briefwahl, Online-Wahl und der Grundsatz der geheimen Stimmabgabe’, in Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen, 4S: 886–902.Google Scholar
  10. Budge, I. (1996) The New Challenges Old Direct Democracy. Oxford: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  11. Caltech/MIT (2000) Voting Technology Project: Residual Votes Attributable to Technology. An Assessment of the Reliability of Existing Voting Equipment. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  12. Cap Gemini and Young (2003) Online Availability of Public Services. Berlin: <>Google Scholar
  13. Coleman, S. (2001) ‘What Was New? Online Innovations in the 2000 US Elections’, in S. Coleman (ed.), Elections in the Age of Internet: Lessons from the United States. London: Hansard Society: 48–64.Google Scholar
  14. DETR (UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions) (1998) Turnout at Local Elections. London.Google Scholar
  15. DETR (UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions) (1998) British Social Attitudes Survey. London.Google Scholar
  16. Deutsch, K. (1965) The Nerves of Government. The Nerves of Government: Models of Political Communication and Control. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  17. Elster, J. (ed.) (1998) Deliberative Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Engström, M. (2000) Rebooting Europe. British Council: <>Google Scholar
  19. Gibson, R. (2001) ‘Elections Online: Assessing Internet Voting in Light of the Arizona Democratic Primary’, in Political Science Quarterly, 116(4): 561–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Green, D. and Shapiro, I. (1994) Pathologies of Rational Choice Theory. A Critique of Applications in Political Science. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gritzalis, D. (ed.) (2003) Secure Electronic Voting. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  22. Habermas, J. (1997) Die Einbeziehung des Anderen. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  23. Hague, B. and Loader, B. (eds) (1999) Digital Democracy. Discourse and Decision Making in the Information Age. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Holznagel, B. and Hanβmann, A. (2001) ‘Möglichkeiten von Wahlen und Bürgerbeteiligung per Internet’, in Holznagel, B. et al. Elektronische Demokratie. Bürgerbeteiligung per Internet zwischen Wissenschaft und Praxis. München: Beck: 55–72.Google Scholar
  25. IDEA (International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance) (2002) Voter Turnout from 1945 to 1997. A Global Report on Participation. Stockholm: IDEA.Google Scholar
  26. Jackman, R. (1987) ‘Political Institutions and Voter Turnout in the Industrial Democracies’, in American Political Science Review, 81, 2: 405–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jackman, R. and Miller, R. (1995) ‘Voter Turnout in the Industrial Democracies during 1980s’, in Comparative Political Studies, 27(4): 467–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jansen, S. and Pridat, B. (2001) Electronic Government. Neue Potentiale für einen Modernen Staat. Stuttgart: Klett Cotta.Google Scholar
  29. Karmack, E. C. and Nye, J. S. (Jr) (eds) (2002) Democracy in the Information Age. Spring Hill: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  30. Kersting, N. (2002a) ‘Internet-Wahlen im Vergleich. Deutschland, USA und Schweiz’, in A. Siedschlag et al. (eds), Kursbuch Internet und Politik 2/2002. Opladen: Leske.Google Scholar
  31. Kersting, N. (2002b) ‘Die Zukunft der Parteien in der Lokalpolitik’, in J. Bogumil (ed.), Kommunale Entscheidungsprozesse im Wandel — Theoretische und Empirische Analysen. Leske und Budrich: 139–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kriesi, H. (2002) E-voting. Motivation and Information Issues Workshop on E-voting and the European Parliamentary Elections. Florence: European University Institute, May 2002.Google Scholar
  33. Lijphart, A. (1997) ‘Unequal Participation, Democracy’s Unresolved Dilemma’, in American Political Science Review, 85(4):1393–406.Google Scholar
  34. Milner, H. (2001) The Institutional Context of Civic Literacy, the Missing Link Between Social Capital and Political Participation. ECPR conference Kent.Google Scholar
  35. Norris, P. (2001) A Digital Divide: Civic Engagement, Information Poverty and the Internet and in Democratic Societies. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Norris, P. (2002a) Democratic Phoenix: Political Activism Worldwide. NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ohms, B. L. and Rieser, H. (1989) ‘Die Briefwahl. Eine Möglichkeit für im Ausland lebende Staatsbürger, ihre politischen Rechte auszuüben? Ein europäischer Rechtsvergleich’, in Österreichisches Jahrbuch für Politik: 209–23.Google Scholar
  38. Polsby, N. (1963) Community Power and Political Theory. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Powell, B. (1980) ‘Voting Turnout in 30 Democracies. Partisan, Legal, and Social Economic Influences’, in R. Rose (ed.), Electoral Participation. A Comparative Analysis. London: Sage: 5–34.Google Scholar
  40. Pratchett, L. (2002) The Implementation of Electronic Voting in the UK. London: Local Government Association.Google Scholar
  41. Przeworski, A. und Teune, H. (1970) The Logic of Comparative Social Inquiry. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  42. Putnam, R. D. (2000) Bowling Alone. The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  43. Schweizerische Bundeskanzlei (2002a) Bericht über den Vote électronique. Chancen, Risiken und Machbarkeit elektronischer Ausübung politischer Rechte. Bern: Bundeskanzlei.Google Scholar
  44. Schweizerische Bundeskanzlei (2002b) Vote électronique. Elektronische Ausübung politischer Rechte. Chancen, Risiken, Machbarkeit. Beilage 5: Stimmgeheimnis, Stimmzwang und Volksrechte in den souveränen Staaten der Welt. Bern: Bundeskanzlei.Google Scholar
  45. Schweizerische Bundeskanzlei (2002c) Vote électronique. Elektronische Ausübung politischer Rechte. Chancen und Risiken, Machbarkeit. Beilage 3: Das Einwohnerregister (Stimmregister). Bern: Bundeskanzlei.Google Scholar
  46. Sennet, R. (1977) The Fall of Public Man. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  47. Slaton, D. C. (1992) Televote. Expanding Citizen Participation in the Quantum Age. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  48. Southwell, P. and Burchett, J. (2000) ‘The Effect of All Mail Elections on Voter Turnout’, Social Science Quarterly, 28(1): 72–9.Google Scholar
  49. Tolbert, C. and McNeal, R. (2001) Does the Internet Increase Voter Participation in Elections. San Francisco: American Political Science Association.Google Scholar
  50. Tsagarousianu, R. et al. (eds) (1998) Cyberdemocracy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Weber, M. (1923) Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Tübingen: Siebeck.Google Scholar
  52. West, D. (2002) Global E.-Government. Full Report Sept. 2002. Brown University: <>Google Scholar
  53. Wolfinger, R. and Rosentone, S. (1980) Who Votes. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Norbert Kersting and Harald Baldersheim 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norbert Kersting
  • Harald Baldersheim

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations