Digital Unbounding of the Polling Booth: Ethnography in Small Places

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article discusses how a small place – the polling booth – can be bounded as an
ethnographic site with reference to the political and democratic event that it is
supposed to facilitate. Concerns about the socio-material bounding of the booth
form the main empirical case – a debate, which recently occurred in Denmark when
the government proposed to digitalise voting. Digitalisation here became a
controversy because of the potential illicit influences that computer experts argued
would enter the polling booth and challenge the secrecy and the privacy of the
vote, the transparency of the electoral process, and thus the electoral enactment of
democracy itself. In this way the polling booth potentially works as an ethnographic
entry point for following shifts in contemporary debates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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