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For the last two decades internet usage and growth has been on an upward trend. Since its inception, the internet has become the largest information storage and retrieval platform across the globe (DiClerico, 2004). In addition to providing information and knowledge, the internet has facilitated shopping, trade and communication eliminating geographical barriers. With its diverse utilities and applications, the internet has played a crucial role in the realization of electronic voting, a phenomenon that ensures an efficient electoral process (DiClerico, 2004).
The possible stakeholders for the research project
During my research to ascertain the impacts and advantages of e-voting, I was required to identify the stakeholders in the project. They comprised of all the people and organizations affected by results of the research in one way or another. Among these stakeholders were my instructor, my partner, the electoral commission and some politicians (Burdick & Brodbeck, 1999). Thereafter, I was to identify the stakeholders’ interest to access their ultimate effect on my research outcome.
Factor influencing the direction of the research
In undertaking the research, several social, political and personal factors might influence the manner in which the outlined objectives are obtained. Social identity will be the main social factor in my area of concern. The administration of e-voting, unlike the traditional voting method, can occur in privacy rather than in the polling stations. In this regard, instances of victimization and intimidation will be minimal. Furthermore, identifying my sample voters will be significantly difficult and strenuous (DiClerico, 2004). Similarly, political factors may influence my research in one way or another. My political stakeholders, particularly those funding the research, might decide the way my research will be conducted. In this regard, they may neglect the correct scientific methodologies. This will ultimately affect the outcome of my research, as the outcome validity will be compromised. Likewise, my personal factors might relatively influence the research project. Biases, if tolerated, will affect my research as they will alter some findings or disproportionately highlight findings. In this regard, I will have acted unethically. Similarly, my social skills in interacting with the participants will be of significant help, as it will enhance data collection efficiency (Weir, 2007).
The interest groups involved
To determine effects of the research, interested groups will have the chance to participate and engage in the research process. Among these interested parties are political and minority groups, lobbyists of human rights and external election observers. These groups will bring in resources, information and labor required for success of the research project.
Patterns that might influence the direction of the research
In the course of my research different patterns will affect and influence the research process. The voting patterns of American people will ultimately guide me in analyzing the influence and impacts of e-voting adoption. As the voting patterns indicate the percentage of the voters who participate in the voting process, one can analyze the impacts on the voter participation since the inception of e-voting.
Possible policy implications of the research
In my research, several policy insinuations will arise. Among these are the legal and social implications (Patterson, 2006). Policy makers, amid electoral commissions, should establish appropriate policies and strategies to ensure that new technologies are more inclusive, deliberate, fair and efficient. At the end of my research legal implications such as measures affecting e-voting will arise.
Examples of policies that might result from the research
Among policies arising from the research, there is the electoral commission defining appropriate legal policies, ensuring the availability of internet for the voters and establishing measures that ensure security and privacy in e-voting (Felchner, 2008). These policies will ensure that controversial issues regarding e-voting do not arise. Similarly, through policies constitutionality, privacy and security issues will be challenged during the preparation and implementation of the strategies in this regard (Felchner, 2008).
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