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Voting Made Safe and Easy: The Impact of e-voting on Citizen Perceptions*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 June 2013

R. Michael Alvarez
Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology
Ines Levin
Department of Political Science, University of Georgia
Julia Pomares
Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth
Marcelo Leiras
Department of Social Sciences, Universidad de San Andrés and Conicet


Voting technologies frame the voting experience. Different ways of presenting information to voters, registering voter choices and counting ballots may change the voting experience and cause individuals to re-evaluate the legitimacy of the electoral process. Yet few field experiments have evaluated how voting technologies affect the voting experience. This article uses unique data from a recent e-voting field experiment in Salta, Argentina to study these questions. It employs propensity-score matching methods to measure the causal effect of replacing traditional voting technology with e-voting on the voting experience. The study's main finding is that while e-voters perceive the new technology as easier to use and more likely to register votes as intended—and support replacing traditional voting technologies with e-voting—the new technologies also raise some concerns about ballot secrecy.

Original Articles
Copyright © The European Political Science Association 2013 

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R. Michael Alvarez is Professor of Political Science, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd., MC 228-77, Pasadena, CA 91125 ( Ines Levin is Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, 104 Baldwin Hall, Athens, Georgia, 30602 ( Julia Pomares is Director of the Politics and Public Management Program, Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth, Av. Callao 25, 1° C1022AAA, Buenos Aires, Argentina ( Marcelo Leiras is Director of Undergraduate Studies in Political Science and International Relations, Universidad de San Andrés, Vito Dumas 284 (1644) Victoria, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina ( Online appendices are available at


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