Internet Voting Behaviour: Lessons from a German Local Election

  • Norbert Kersting


During the direct election of the Landrat (the county’s head of administration) in the county Marburg-Biedenkopf in September 2001, voters had the opportunity to vote by Internet. Because it was parallel to the binding election, it acted as a simulation. The project group ‘Electronic Voting by Internet’ (ESI) was founded in June 2001 and was a public-private cooperation with the goal of managing the technical and organizational implementation of Internet voting and to evaluate, aside from the technical aspects, the legal and political framework. The members were the Faculty of Computer Science and the Institute for Political Science at the University of Marburg, the local administration of the city of Marburg, the local administration of the county of Marburg-Biedenkopf, the electoral supervisor (Landeswahlleiter) of the state of Hessen (Ministry of the Interior), the commissioner for data protection (Datenschutzbeauftragter) of the state of Hesse, the regional computing centre (KIV) and a local private software company. This pilot project would be a first step towards developing Internet voting as an alternative to mail-in voting.


Polling Station Digital Divide Voter Turnout Local Election Direct Election 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norbert Kersting

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