We provide an analysis of voter and poll worker perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of a new e-voting system vis–à–vis traditional ballot-and-envelope voting in the 2011 election in Salta, Argentina. The results of this comparison provide new insights into how poll workers perceive the implementation of new voting technologies and show that both points of view need to be taken into account when assessing new election technology. We found that speed is perceived to be the most important advantage of e-voting; and more so for poll workers than for voters.
In every election an army of temporary poll workers must be recruited and trained to both assist the public in exercising the right to vote and to enforce the rules governing the voting process. These poll workers are geographically dispersed and serve as the front line workers interacting with tens of millions of voters. Principal-agent theory suggests that this is a difficult task for election officials.