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Melvin Stephens, Estimating Program Benefits

Voters' evaluations of electronic voting systems - Results from a usability field study

Publication Abstract

Herrnson, P.S., R.G. Niemi, M.J. Hanmer, P.L. Francia, B.B. Bederson, Frederick G. Conrad, and M.W. Traugott. 2008. "Voters' evaluations of electronic voting systems - Results from a usability field study." American Politics Research, 36(4): 580-611.

Electronic voting systems were developed, in part, to make voting easier and to boost voters' confidence in the election process. Using three new approaches to studying electronic voting systems - focusing on a large-scale field study of the usability of a representative set of systems - we demonstrate that voters view these systems favorably but that design differences have a substantial impact on voters' satisfaction with the voting process and on the need to request help. Factors associated with the digital divide played only a small role with respect to overall satisfaction but they were strongly associated with feeling the need for help. Results suggest numerous possible improvements in electronic voting systems as well as the need for continued analysis that assesses specific characteristics of both optical scan and direct recording electronic systems.

DOI:10.1177/1532673x08316667 (Full Text)

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