According to a study, more people used Internet voting during the last municipal election than ever before, but the relatively new method of marking a ballot shouldn’t be regarded as a panacea to improve voter turnout and political engagement. “Of the 97 (Ontario) municipalities that used Internet voting in 2014, voter turnout increased in 52 communities and decreased in 44 from 2010,” explained Dr. Nicole Goodman, research director with the Centre for e-Democracy, which helped fund the Internet Voting Project (www.internetvotingproject.com). Results of the study, which included survey feedback from Internet voters in 43 municipalities, including Cambridge, will be released online next week. Goodman shared highlights during a webinar this past Thursday (Jan. 29) afternoon.
Voter turnout is contextual, so other factors such as issues, candidates and how Internet voting was structured in various jurisdictions need to be considered as well, Goodman said.
Yet, 14 per cent of survey respondents said they definitely or probably wouldn’t have voted if not for the Internet voting option.
Internet voting won’t have a huge impact on turnout because it won’t likely encourage the apathetic to vote, Goodman discerned.
Full Article: Internet voting doesn’t inspire the apathetic: e-Democracy.