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The adoption and challenges of electronic voting technologies within the South African context
journal contributionposted on 28.10.2019, 12:22 by Mourine Achieng, Ephias Ruhode
Literature has shown that countries such as Brazil and India have successfully implemented electronic voting systems and other countries are at various piloting stages to address many challenges associated with manual paper based system such ascosts of physical ballot paper and other overheads, electoral delays, distribution of electoral materials, and general lack of confidence in the electoral process. It is in this context that this study explores how South African can leverage the opportunities that e-voting presents. Manual voting is often tedious, non-secure, and time-consuming, which leads us to think about using electronic facilities to make the process more efficient. This study proposes that the adoption of electronic voting technologies could perhaps mitigate some of these issues and challengesin the process improving the electoral process. The study used an on-line questionnaire which was administered to a broader group of voters and an in-depth semi-structured interview with the Independent Electoral Commission officials. The analysis is based on thematic analysis and diffusion of innovations theory is adopted as a theoretical lens of analysis. The findings reveal that relative advantage, compatibility and complexity would determine the intentions of South African voters and the Electoral Management Bodies (IEC) to adopt e-voting technologies. Moreover, the findings also reveal several other factorsthat could influence the adoption process. The study is limited to only voters in Cape Town and these voters were expected to have some access to the internet. The sample size limits the generalizability of the findings of this study.