Electronic Elections in a Politicized Polity

Working Paper No.: 
76
Date Published: 
06/01/2009
Author(s): 
Thad E. Hall
University of Utah

Abstract
Since the 2000 presidential elections, the evolution of electronic technologies in American elections—from voting machines to computerized voter registries—has occurred within the context of a highly partisan, polarized, and politicized environment. The decision about the type of voting systems to use within a given state has become especially political and these debates have affected the confidence and attitudes of voters toward various voting technologies. In this paper, we consider the evolution of voter confidence over this period and the evolution of the political debate that relates to electronic voting. We note that confidence in voting systems is affected by several factors, including race, partisanship, voting for a winning candidate, and the mode of voting (i.e., voting in person of voting via absentee ballot). During this time, certain factors, such as partisanship, have changed in importance based on previous election outcomes.

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