Examining the Impact of the Internet on the Electoral Process
Walther, William Kyle
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In seemingly every area of society, the Internet has made an impact. The political world is no exception. Already politicians and other groups use web sites and electronic mail, among other things, as tools to spread their political ideologies. But the scope of the Internet's potential impact does not stop here. Writing about the "Information Revolution," or the growth of the Internet, Dr. Bruce Bimber, professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Clara, says, "This revolution is creating an environment for politics that is increasingly information-rich and communication-intensive, and these developments have precipitated much discussion about the implications of technology for politics" (Bimber 53). There are two main areas of our electoral process on which the Internet has the potential to make a profound impact. Because it has the potential to change and to improve the process by which we obtain information about issues and political candidates, it can make us better-informed voters. And since technology is allowing us to do more and more things over the Internet, it is feasible that, someday, more accurate elections with higher levels of participation conducted over the Internet could be a reality.