E-voting in Europe: divergent democratic practice

Jorgen S. Svensson, R.E. Leenes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Corresponding author Recent technological developments have opened up the possibility of electronic voting and this clearly provides some opportunities and threats. On the one hand, the new technology may help to make voting more cost effective and more convenient for the voter and may even increase voter turnout. On the other, e-voting may introduce new risks and affect electoral values, such as the secrecy of the vote and the place of voting as an observable institution in modern democracies. At present various countries and different electoral systems are confronted with these opportunities and threats and the question is what will happen. Will the new technology, with its international standards and its seemingly objective opportunities and threats determine the development and lead to a convergence in voting practices which optimise the benefits? Or, will decisions concerning the application of ICT in the voting process vary as a result of differences in social context and varying democratic institutions? In this paper we claim that, based on social theory regarding technology adoption, different countries may very well differ in their attitudes and actual decisions regarding e-voting. When we look at the current developments in 13 Western-European countries, this claim is supported. Decision-making concerning the introduction of e-Voting in these rather similar countries is clearly structured by diverging democratic institution and as a result e-voting developments actually differ.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages14
JournalInformation polity
Issue number1,2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • METIS-217622
  • IR-98896

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