Political Participation in a Digital Age: An Integrated Perspective on the Impacts of the Internet on Voter Turnout

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Virginia Tech


E-government is the use of information technology, especially telecommunications, to enable and improve the efficiency with which government services and information are provided to its constituents. Internet voting is an emerging e-government initiative. It refers to the submission of votes securely and secretly over the Internet. In the United States some areas have already used Internet voting systems for local and state elections.

Many researchers argue that one of the most important social impacts of Internet voting is the effect it could have on voter participation. Numerous studies have called for research on the impact of technology on voter turnout; however, existing literature has yet to develop a comprehensive model of the key factors that influence Internet voting adoption. In light of the gradual implementation of I-voting systems and the need for research on I-voting implications this study combines political science and information systems constructs to present an integrated model of Internet voter participation. The proposed model of Internet voting adoption posits that a combination of technical, political and demographic factors amalgamate to influence the adoption of I-voting services. The study was conducted by surveying 372 citizens ranging in age from 18-75. The findings indicate that an integrated model of I-voting adoption is superior to existing models that explore political science or technology adoption constructs in isolation. Implications of this study for research and practice are presented.



Electronic Government, Voter Participation, Technology Adoption, Diffusion of Innovation, Internet Voting