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I’m aware that online voting has been adopted in a (limited) number of jurisdictions across the world.

As far as I’m aware, all these systems work in a very similar way to a paper ballot, you cast your vote in secret, and at a later time all the votes are counted and the final result is announced.

Has anyone done any studies on the effect of implementing a system of ‘real time’ online voting? By that I mean a system where the result-so-far is known and published in real-time, and the voter has the chance to change his vote right up to the moment the ballot closes. ( I guess the best analogy is an ebay auction, you can place a bid anytime up the end of the auction, and you get to see the current highest bid right up till the end)

Elections often end with surprising or unpredicted results, at which point the pundits (and the losing side!) will start talking about ‘tactical voting’ and ‘protest voting’, the implications being that the electorate hasn’t really got the results it actually wanted because a ‘protest vote’ has gone too far. I guess the logic goes something like this “I voted for ‘A’ just to protest against ‘B’ – I never really expected ‘A’ to win”. It occurs to me that being able to see the results right up to the moment the ballot closes would remove this issue.

This question is NOT about general electronic voting, it about the potential changes in behavior given real-time results before the final ballot closes.

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    Possible duplicate of What challenges remain for online voting? – JJJ Jun 12 at 12:23
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    I note that the UK bans the publication of opinion polls and exit polls on the day while the election is running, because of exactly this - knowing how other people vote affecting your vote. Allowing people to re-vote tactically would turn it into even more of a circus, and I suspect would drive up the prices of people (illegally) selling their votes. Adopting a sensible preferential voting system is the best way to deal with "protest" votes. – pjc50 Jun 12 at 14:12
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    "It occurs to me that being able to see the results right up to the moment the ballot closes would remove [tactical voting]" - Really? I'd imagine it making the "problem" more likely, not less. – Joe C Jun 12 at 19:03
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    I was really meaning it should avoid 'tactical voting regret' whereby a voter gets an outcome he didn't actually want, but only voted for as a protest. – ConanTheGerbil Jun 12 at 19:16
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    Are you willing to accept an answer along the lines of "no studies of that nature have been done" – James K Jun 12 at 21:51

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