Project

E-voting as an alternative voting procedure in national elections. Selected countries' experiences and perpectives of e-voting implementation in Poland

Goal: The project to be implemented will be theoretical and empirical in nature. The main goal will be to acquire new knowledge about the conditions and consequences of implementation of new forms of civic participation in elections (in conditions of dynamically developing Information and Communication technologies), namely the electronic voting. In the adopted conceptualisation, apart from a theoretical analysis regarding directions of transformations of democratic procedures, the empirical layer of the research has also been distinguished (regarding the influence of e-voting on the decision-making process) based on which the theoretical conclusions will be formulated. The conducted research fits in the issues tackled in a current discussion among e.g. political scientists and constitutionalists regarding conditions and possibilities of developing participatory democracy.

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Magdalena Musiał-Karg
added 3 research items
Purpose This paper aims to discuss reasons for the failure of the 2020 postal-vote election reform in Poland and examine opinions of Poles on voting methods. The main goal is to answer the following research question: Which of the alternative voting methods – postal or electronic – would Poles prefer? Design/methodology/approach The approach is quantitative and based on the statistical analysis of voters’ attitudes toward alternative voting methods, in particular postal voting. Findings The main finding is that out of all voting methods available, most Poles favor electronic voting as a potential alternative to voting in person. On a general level, the conclusions from the Polish case highlight the need to establish special requirements and standards for democratic elections during emergency situations. The unsuccessful implementation of all-postal voting in Poland is an example of how changes to the law should not be made, especially when public health and democratic standards are at stake. Practical implications The paper presents practical implications and recommendations for state authorities and electoral administration while implementing electoral reforms, extending the list of available voting channels, and running elections – especially in extraordinary situations. Originality/value This paper adds to the knowledge on alternative voting channels, including their implementation during a pandemic. The Polish case is also relevant for other countries as regards safe and democratic elections during emergency situations. Policymakers are expected to benefit from the insight, as the results originate in public opinion polls and identify voting channels favored by citizens
This paper refers to the discussion on the impact of new technologies on political participation with a special emphasis put on ICT’s influence on the electoral process. The main research problem approached is associated with the ways of political participation in Europe in a comparative perspective but paying particular attention to the Polish case. The part of the article dedicated to discussing the electoral and non-electoral forms of civic involvement in Europe is based on data sets analysis from European Social Survey (ESS 2018) and it aims to verify the general hypothesis that the impact of Internet usage on political participation differs across Europe. For the study of the Polish case, we used data collected in a survey conducted by the authors in 2018. It focuses on answering the question of whether (and if yes—in what way) the use of ICTs is affecting the willingness to use ICT-based tools in electoral processes in Poland and what is the profile of the potential e-voter in this country. The research results confirm that there are significant cross-country differences in both types of political participation which derive from demographic factors (education and age mainly) but Internet usage is a better predictor for non-electoral participation than for voting. Regarding Poland, the general public declares a high level of support for e-voting (mean general e-voting support index was 3.61 out of 5) and it scores the highest results among people aged between 25 and 44, with secondary or higher education, living in urban areas.
Citizens of today’s democracies, especially in the Western world, have more opportunities than ever before to engage in public affairs, as a consequence of the technological developments observed in the last decade in the field of communications.
Izabela Kapsa
added 3 research items
Zwiększające się zainteresowanie partycypacją obywateli w procesach podejmowania decyzji politycznych i w życiu publicznym jest wynikiem ewolucji współczesnych demokracji, głębokich przeobrażeń zachodzących w społeczeństwach, a także szeroko w ostatnich latach dyskutowanego kryzysu demokracji przedstawicielskiej. Tematem rozważań w niniejszej pracy są zagadnienia związane z partycypacją wyborczą oraz alternatywnymi metodami głosowania w wyborach. Przedmiotem analizy empirycznej są poglądy i deklarowane postawy Polaków na temat alternatywnych procedur głosowania rozpatrywane z perspektywy różnych zmiennych o charakterze demograficznym i politycznym. Badanie problematyki związanej z alternatywnymi metodami głosowania jest tym bardziej istotne, iż w coraz większej liczbie państw Europy i świata dyskutowane są obecnie kwestie związane z wdrożeniem różnych dodatkowych form głosowania, które zwiększą szanse przeprowadzenia bezpiecznych wyborów. Prezentowane wyniki badań mają więc znaczenie nie tylko dla rozwoju nauki w kontekście wyzwań stojących przed współczesną demokracją, ale są także ważne dla samych wyborców, stanowiąc jednocześnie istotną wskazówkę dla elit politycznych tworzących prawo wyborcze.
Izabela Kapsa
added a research item
In Poland, economic backwardness and communism delayed the transformation of the government into the e-government comparing with Western Europe. Now, it has been gradually developing and the majority of Poles declare to use electronic administration services. Comparing with other Eastern European countries, the Polish e-government is ranked second in the region, but Eastern Europe as a region has the lowest score in the whole continent. There is a noticeable underdevelopment in this part of Europe regarding e-government. The main research goal presented in the article is to diagnose the current state and barriers and opportunities for the development of e-government in Poland. To achieve the goal, the authors use the quantitative and qualitative data analysis based on their own survey made among Poles in 2018 and statistical data provided by public institutions in Poland. The article attempts to answer the question of how does e-government work in Poland from the perspective of citizens and authorities? The issue has been presented in the form of an analysis of empirical data regarding experience and opinions among Poles on electronic administration tools, as well as statistical data regarding information and communication technologies in use by public institutions and households in Poland.
Magdalena Musiał-Karg
added a research item
Despite the lack of legal basis, electronic voting has been present in the public discourse in Poland for over ten years. This can be seen in particular before parliamentary, presidential, local or European elections. Then, political parties, while trying to raise their election capital, declare their willingness to implement innovative methods of voting (e.g. i-voting) in elections to make the election process more convenient for those entitled to vote. Parties assume that this can mobilize the part of the electorate which typically does not utilize their universal suffrage.
Magdalena Musiał-Karg
added a research item
Citizen e-participation – in times of rapid ICT advancement – is an important factor contributing to the development of contemporary democracies. The use of electronic citizen involvement tools provides numerous changes in the relationship between the citizen and public institution, especially by boosting citizen engagement in decision making. Civic participation is a key factor in determining effective and inclusive governance at the local and national levels. As many organizations have recognized, contemporary democracy needs to ensure a responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making process, emphasizing the importance of those sustainable development factors. Moreover, National Councils for Sustainable Development were once considered critical to achieving integration in decision-making and participation, two dimensions that were at the heart of the sustainable development concept. The article presents citizen e-participation as an important factor for sustainable development. The purpose is to explain theoretical and empirical meaning of citizen e-participation for sustainable development. To achieve this goal, the authors used the following research methods: critical review of the literature and quantitative data analysis (data examined come from author’s own research (2018) into use and willingness to use e-government tools by Poles). Research findings may be an important contribution to the development of civic participation and the implicit value of the process. Keywords: citizen participation, e-democracy, e-government, e-participation, Poland, sustainable development.
Magdalena Musiał-Karg
added a research item
Technologie komunikacyjne i informacyjne w znacznym stopniu wpływają na instytucje i procedury demokratyczne. Jednym z przykładów takiego wpływu ICT jest cisza wyborcza, która ma na celu umożliwić wyborcom spokojne i wolne agitacji politycznej warunki do podjęcia ostatecznej decyzji co do sposobu głosowania. Pomimo zakazu agitowania w czasie ciszy wyborczej wielu użytkowników Internetu prowadzi kampanię na rzecz konkretnych polityków czy ugrupowań politycznych, naruszając obowiązujące prawo. Głównym celem niniejszego tekstu jest odpowiedź na pytanie o sposoby naruszania ciszy wyborczej w Internecie oraz o zasadność funkcjonowania tego mechanizmu w dobie Internetu. Motywacjądo skoncentrowania się na tym problemie było m.in. pojawienie się dużej liczby raportów na temat łamania ciszy wyborczej w Internecie, a w konsekwencji pojawienie się wielu wątpliwości co do utrzymania tego mechanizmu w demokracji.
Magdalena Musiał-Karg
added 2 research items
This paper discusses the experience related to selected European states implementing i-voting. Particular emphasis is given in the text to the issues of the definition of internet voting (as one of the forms of electronic voting); the analysis of experiences gathered by states with a history of the implementation of internet voting; and the procedures of vote casting via Internet. The main goal of this text is to answer the questions of the greatest risks and benefits of internet voting, the influence i-voting has on voter turnout and the future prospects of i-voting. The considerations presented here focus on the experiences of two states with apparently the greatest experience in the field of i-voting, namely Estonia and Switzerland. T he influence of ICT on political processes and state-citizen relations is described in such terms as digital democracy, cyberdemocracy, virtual democracy and the most frequent one-electronic democracy. Whatever the term applied and its definition, all these concepts share the conviction that new technologies (ensuring interactivity, faster information transfer and feedback) allow democratic mechanisms to be influenced. Members of academia, in particular representatives of political science, primarily focus on the influence ICT has on the operation of the democratic system. The growing role of the Internet (as the most vigorously changing ICT tool) in the broadly understood politics and its increasingly significant influence on society appear to be among the crucial arguments to undertake studies in this field. This text is therefore about the influence the Internet has on modern democracies, in particular on electoral processes. Studies on the implementation of i-voting address the recent currents of studies on the evolution of political systems (including electoral systems) as a consequence of employing ICT. This article refers to experience related to the implementation of i-voting in selected Eu-ropean countries. Particular emphasis is given to the issues of the definition of internet voting (as one of the forms of electronic voting); the analysis of experiences gathered by states with a history of the implementation of internet voting; and the procedures of vote casting via the Internet. The main goal of this text is to answer the questions of the greatest risks and benefits generated by internet voting, the influence i-voting has on voter turnout and future prospects of i-voting. The considerations presented here focus on the two states with apparently the greatest experience in the field of i-voting, namely Estonia and Switzerland.
Izabela Kapsa
added a research item
Civic participation is an important aspect of democracy. The contemporary model of democracy is based on citizens' participation in political decision-making (deliberative democracy, participatory democracy). This participation takes many forms of activities like display of slogans and symbols, voting, social consultations, political demonstrations, membership in political parties or organizing civil disobedience. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 are characterized by great social, economic and political diversity. Civil society is also part of the process of democratization. Civil society, funded by the rule of law, civil rights, such as freedom of speech and association and private ownership, was to play a central role in the development of liberal democracy. Among the many interpretations of concepts, defining the concept of contemporary democracy, one can assume that the terms civil society and democracy, although different in meaning, nowadays overlap. In the post-communist countries, the process of shaping and maturing societies took place in the context of a struggle with a state governed by undemocratic power. State fraud or repudiation of the institution is a representative state, which in the past was the only way to manifest and defend its identity, but after the breakthrough became one of the main obstacles to the development of civil society. In Central and Eastern Europe, there are many obstacles to the development of civil society, for example, the elimination of economic poverty, the implementation of educational campaigns, consciousness-related obstacles, the formation of social capital and the deficit of social activity. Obviously, civil society does not only entail an electoral turnout but a broader participation in the decision-making process, which is impossible without direct and participative democratic institutions. This article considers such broad forms of civic participation and their characteristics in Central and Eastern Europe. The paper attempts to analyze the functioning of electronic forms of civic participation in Central and Eastern European states. This is not accompanied by a referendum or a referendum initiative, and other forms of political participation, such as public consultations, participative budgets, or e-Government. However, this paper will broadly present electronic administration tools, the application of which results from both legal regulations and increasingly common practice in state and city management. In the comparative analysis, the experiences of post-communist bloc countries will be summed up to indicate the challenges and possible goals for further development of this form of citizen participation in the political process. The author argues that for to function efficiently and effectively, states need to involve their citizens in the political decision-making process, especially with the use of electronic tools.
Magdalena Musiał-Karg
added 2 research items
Finding the answer to the question of the role of electronic voting in a modern country constitutes an important part of researches into electronic democracy. The recent dynamic development of information and communication technologies (ICT) and mass media have been leading to noticeable changes in functioning of contemporary countries and societies. ICT is beginning to play a greater and greater role and filter down to almost every field of contemporary human life – including politics. Electronic voting represents one of the more and more popular forms of so called e-democracy, and is an interesting research subject in the context of mechanisms for implementing this form of participation in elections, its legitimization, specific technological solutions for e-voting and their effectiveness as well as unintended consequences. The main subject of this text is the use of electronic voting (e-voting) as one of the forms of electronic democracy. The article attempts to answer the following research questions: First, what is the impact of ICT on the political processes – particularly on the voting procedures? Secondly, what is the essence of electronic voting and what are its main features? Finally, what are the e-voting experiences in the European countries? The text is devoted rather to general remarks on e-voting, and does not constitute a complete analysis of the issue. It is intended to be a contribution to the further considerations.
Magdalena Musiał-Karg
added 2 research items
Electronic voting (as well as computer-aided voting) is an interesting subject for many countries around the world. The idea to implement e-voting into elections and referenda is widely discussed not only by members of parliaments and governments throughout the world but also by regular voters, IT specialists, engineers or people who work in organisations/associations supporting application of ICT in government. This idea is strengthened by the fact, that e-voting is successfully applied in Estonia and Switzerland for several years. However, in some European states (e.g. in the Netherlands, Norway and Austria) the attempts to implement that form of participation in elections fell out to be unsuccessful. This article aims at providing an answer to the question about the matters of security during implementation of electronic voting systems, which are more and more popular as an additional form of voting during elections or referenda. The theoretical context of the considerations is based on the concepts of electronic democracy (as a new paradigm of democratic power in contemporary states) and voting supported by ICT (understood as the essential tool for e-democracy). Apart from theoretical considerations on the e-voting itself, this text includes references to the most important motives that accompany e-voting implementation and then it delivers arguments on various aspects of security within the e-voting system.
Magdalena Musiał-Karg
added a research item
The paper discusses Poles’ opinions on the adoption of an alternative method of voting i.e. electronic voting (in the context of political preferences). The author focused on analyzing her research results on the adoption of e-voting systems in Poland emphasizing responses to the research question regarding Poles’ approval for having Internet-voting available in Polish elections and, whether, given the opportunity, the respondents would make use of this voting mode. In addition to own research findings, reference was made to the results of public opinion polls carried out by the Center for Public Opinion Research and the Ombudsman’s Office.
Magdalena Musiał-Karg
added a project goal
The project to be implemented will be theoretical and empirical in nature. The main goal will be to acquire new knowledge about the conditions and consequences of implementation of new forms of civic participation in elections (in conditions of dynamically developing Information and Communication technologies), namely the electronic voting. In the adopted conceptualisation, apart from a theoretical analysis regarding directions of transformations of democratic procedures, the empirical layer of the research has also been distinguished (regarding the influence of e-voting on the decision-making process) based on which the theoretical conclusions will be formulated. The conducted research fits in the issues tackled in a current discussion among e.g. political scientists and constitutionalists regarding conditions and possibilities of developing participatory democracy.