This paper outlines the preliminary findings of the empirical stage of the research to establish the reasons that in 2003 some English local authorities decided to trial e-voting and others did not. The key findings demonstrate that central and local governments have different agendas and there is little momentum from central government to increase the number of pilot schemes. The central government policy to introduce e-voting via voluntary pilot schemes is only providing a limited insight into the problems surrounding the operation of the new voting methods. The findings are derived from comparative semi-structured interviews with Election Officers from pilot and non-pilot authorities, and the analysis is based upon Rogers’ diffusion of innovations theory framework. The findings illustrate that in the case of e-voting, central government has not adopted a formal diffusion strategy and that a most influential driver to adopt e-voting is not prominently acknowledged in diffusion theory. The results suggest that the theory of perceived attributes needs modification and the issue of the diffusion of a public policy should be considered by government earlier in the public policy process.
|Electronic Journal of E-Government
|Published - 2007