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Whether voting for their favourite pop singer or responding to a survey about the news, Internet users have come to treat informal online polls as regular web fixtures. Now, proponents of electoral reform are urging consideration of remote Internet voting to determine its likely impact on American elections. Advocates argue that Americans are well suited for Internet voting since they are eager to make use of new technology and have a high level of access to the Internet. It could also increase voter participation among young people and working Americans, and yield a better-informed electorate. However, many opponents of Internet voting raise significant concerns about the security of votes cast online, Internet accessibility across socioeconomic lines, and the civic consequences of making voting possible at the click of a button. This book offers a realistic plan to put pilot remote Internet voting programmes into effect nationwide. It addresses many of the important questions raised regarding security, accessibility, and impact on American civic life.
It examines several examples of remote voting (Internet and otherwise) already in place in America, including Oregon's vote-by-mail system and online primary elections in Alaska and Arizona. This book explores the ways in which Internet voting could alter the future of American elections.
R. Michael Alvarez is professor of political science at the California Institute of Technology and codirector of the Caltech-MIT Voting Technology Project. His books include Hard Choices, Easy Answers: Values, Information, and American Public Opinion, written with John Brehm (Princeton, 2002). He is a nationally recognized expert on voting behavior and elections. Thad E. Hall is assistant professor of political science and a research fellow in the Institute of Public and International Affairs at the University of Utah.