Internet voting: a conceptual challenge to democracy


Pieters, W. (2006) Internet voting: a conceptual challenge to democracy. In: Social Inclusion: Societal and Organizational Implications for Information Systems: IFIP TC8 WG8.2 International Working Conference, 12-15 Jul 2006, Limerick, Ireland (pp. pp. 89-103).

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Abstract:In this paper, we discuss the implications for social inclusion of the advent of Internet voting. Although the issue of social exclusion or social inclusion with regard to technological developments in the voting process is often approached as a matter of either security or turnout, we will take a broader view. Using the philosophical concept of technological mediation, as developed by Don Ihde and Peter-Paul Verbeek, we claim that Internet voting may change our experience of democracy, and transform the way we act as citizens in the democratic system. We argue that the mediating role of voting technology requires reconstruction of concepts used in discussing democracy. Our approach of reconstruction departs from the political philosophy of John Dewey. Based on his work, we can describe the political process in a democracy in terms of intellectual reconstruction and institutional recon-struction. Combining the concept of technological mediation and Dewey’s political philosophy, we use the mediating role of online voting technology as input to the intellectual reconstruction of the discussion on voting and democracy. Based on the developments in the Netherlands, we present some challenges that the mediating role of online voting technology offers to existing concepts in democracy, and evaluate the benefits for social inclusion of reconstructing these concepts with respect to the new possibilities.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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