The goal of the Internet Voting Project is to disseminate and share academic research by social scientists addressing Internet voting. Internet voting has been actively used in binding elections around the world for over a decade, yet we know little about its social and political impacts. Part of the reason for this is the lack of data that has been collected from these elections, especially in a Canadian context. This project seeks to change this, by collecting attitudinal data from election stakeholders in jurisdictions that use Internet voting so we are better able to understand the impact of digital technology on electoral democracy.
The initial project launching this website focuses on examining the effects of Internet voting in Canada at the local level by collecting survey data from (1) Internet voters, (2) Paper ballot voters, (3) Candidates, and (4) Election administrators in the 2014 Ontario municipal elections.
To date Canadian municipalities have offered Internet ballots as a method of voting in more binding elections than any other country in the world and considerable growth in availability and use is projected. In the October 2014 Ontario local elections, for example, nearly 2.4 million electors (or about one quarter of the Ontario electorate) will have the option of voting online. This is the first effort in Canada to collect attitudinal data from various election stakeholders to learn about how the option of Internet voting impacts local elections.
While the Ontario, Canada project forms the initial basis for this site, the hope is that other comparative projects will be developed in the coming years and this website will be used as a hub to share and disseminate the findings from this research. This research is sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.