In recent years online voting tools, increasingly referred to as voting advice applications (VAAs), have been deployed in numerous European countries with the purported objective of aiding prospective voters in their electoral choice. These tools have been used during different types of electoral contests, such as national elections as well as in less salient elections such as supranational elections in the EU.
The increasing popularity of VAAs raises numerous questions about how these innovative online tools are designed and their general impact on the election process. This special issue seeks to critically evaluate the VAA phenomenon. It invites research papers, case studies, experience and best practice reports, in the form of interdisciplinary contributions or more specific papers dealing with some of the questions below.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, those that address the following questions:
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of using such tools? Could they increase participation? Can they improve the process of opinion formation?
- What is the impact of VAAs on elections? Do different party systems matter?
- What are the most pertinent methodological issues raised in the design of VAAs? How are results calculated? How are parties/candidates coded? How many answer categories are appropriate?
- How best to analyse the data generated by VAAs? What can we learn about the ideological profile of parties/candidates from the data collected by VAAs? How best to map the results generated by VAAs? How do we compare VAAs across different electoral events, or countries?
Deadline for paper submission: 31 January 2012 (revised date)
Notification of review results: 30 March, 2012
Submission of revised manuscripts: 30 June, 2012