Civic Engagement Lunch Talk: “Assessing e-Government Capacity to Increase Voter Participation”
Civic Engagement Lunch Talk
March 11, 2020
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Richard J. Daley Library Room 1-470
801 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60607
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Dr. Kelly LeRoux will be presenting her IPCE-sponsored research project about the capacity of e-government to increase civic participation.
One of the great promises of e-government has been the prospect of increasing citizen participation. Yet a minority of local governments in the US use technologies that are interactively oriented, suggesting that this promise may remain unfulfilled. While much research has focused on the determinants of e-government and adoption of information communication technologies (ICTs) aimed at increasing participation, there has been far less work examining the impact that ICTs have on changes in civic behavior or citizen engagement. This study aims to help fill this knowledge gap by examining the impact that local government ICTs have on a specific form of civic engagement: voting. This research creates and tests a unique measure, the Voting ICT Index (VICTI) to examine the extent to which local governments offer online information and utilities that help to educate voters and promote turnout. The index is tested on a sample of 400 local governments in the US to examine to the extent to which government’s use of voting ICTs influences voter participation, while accounting for other institutional and demographic factors that are known to shape voter turnout. The findings are further elaborated through a set of county cases in the state of Illinois, illustrating low and high levels of voting ICTs. While this study is set in the context of the US counties, some of policy and practice implications should be applicable for other governments.
Lunch is provided.
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