Assessing internet voting as an early voting reform in the united states
Recent research on convenience voting reforms in the United States has found that programs designed to make voting easier have not succeeded in boosting turnout, and have even had the unintended consequence of exacerbating the demographic biases that already exist in the electorate by encouraging votes among those who were most likely to vote anyway but who were inconvenienced by going to the polls on election day. Using public voting records and a unique dataset of Internet voters in the 2004 Michigan Democratic Presidential primary, this paper offers new evidence that Internet voting benefits two groups of people: young voters and people who vote infrequently. Like previous research on voting reforms, I also find evidence that Internet voting does not draw new voters into the electorate. I discuss the implications of these findings for the future of early voting reforms in general and Internet voting in particular.
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