Internetval - succé eller fiasko? Försöket vid Umeå studentkår [Internet Elections - Success or Fiasko? An Experiment at Umeå Student Union]

Markus Hällgren, Åke Grönlund


In May 2001, the student union at Umeå University conducted an election to its Council where Internet voting was used for the first time. This paper reports a comprehensive evaluation of the election, including a questionnaire to 2.500 students and expert evaluations. Internet voting was by for the most common way to vote, but the impact on turnout seems limited. Voters prioritize convenience over security. The general attitudes towards the voting act as a manifestation of the democratic system have not been changed by the use of electronic voting. Rather, there is an openness to new procedures. Manual routines were problematic and improvised solutions had to be used to take care of several incidents, which increased the dependency on the provider of the electronic voting system. The paper concludes by discussing some issues raised by the evaluation as well as the Government decisions made based on the results, including the view of local popular votes, the relation between user organisations and software providers, and voters' views on the symbolic values associated with the voting act.

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