The Likely Consequences of Internet Voting for Political Representation

Jonathan Nagler
R. Michael Alvarez
Loyola Law Review

In this Article, Professors R. Michael Alvarez and Jonathan Nagler consider the consequences of Internet voting for political representation. They believe that based on the evidence presented Internet voting is likely to exacerbate the current problem of class-bias in American elections if it is introduced any time in the near future. The authors maintain that previous reforms to ease voting or registration have tended to be taken advantage of by those of higher socio-economic status. Similarly, based on the current digital divide, Internet voting is a reform ripe to be taken advantage of by those with higher socio-economic status. Adopting a system of voting whereby people of sufficient means can vote from the convenience of their homes using a technology they find routine and regularly use, while people of lesser means must brave the uncertain weather of early November to find a local polling place, hardly seems like an election reform likely to lead to fairer or more representative elections. But right now, Internet voting would be the equivalent of “motor-voter: for luxury car drivers only.”

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