Conference paper: "Once an e-voter always an e-voter: "stickiness" of e-voting"

Paper by Mihkel Solvak, Kristjan Vassil and R. Michael Alvarez, prepared for the 73rd Annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference, April 16-19, 2015, Chicago
PDF here.
Recent evidence shows that e-voting in Estonia has diffused widely. Typical traits distinguishing early e-voters from regular voters, such as age and computer literacy, have lost their explanatory power over the ten years of e-enabled elections. The original motivations that drove enthusiasts to pick up this voting more seem to have ebbed suggesting e-voting has become essentially random. Yet randomness of behavior is a difficult hypothesis to accept. An alternative suggestion is that e-voting, as voting itself, might be habit-forming. People might keep on doing it simply because they have done so in the past. We examine to what degree has e-voting become "sticky" or habitual, i.e. self-reinforced behavior detached from its original motivations, using survey data from a total of 5 e-enabled consecutive nationwide elections in Estonia in 2009 to 2015. The results suggest e-voting to be very "sticky", a first time e-voter is very likely yo stay e-voting in subsequent elections. The results have implications for the mechanism of spread of e-voting among the voter population.

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