Illinois Legislators Revisited: A Comparison of Legislators' Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Constituent E-mail

by Sheffer, Mary Louise

Abstract (Summary)
This is a follow up study to a 2000 report, which measured and compared Illinois state legislators attitudes and perceptions toward constituent e-mail, and its impact on personal political agendas. Along with measuring attitudes, this study sought to measure and compare the impact of advances in e-mail technology on Illinois legislators use of e-mail as a political tool of communication. The panel comparison consisted of 59% of respondents who participated in both the 2000 and the 2004 study. A survey conducted in February 2000 showed that 89% of Illinois legislators had an active e-mail address, but only 65% of those legislators agreed that they were using e-mail to communicate with constituents, albeit very infrequently. Legislators inability to determine the origin of e-mail negatively affected constituent e-mails impact on legislators personal political agendas. Despite this minimal impact, legislators indicated a strong future reliance on e-mail as a form of communication. Improvements in e-mail technology, especially filtering systems like Echo-mail, could greatly affect legislators attitudes and perceptions, thus changing constituent e-mails impact on legislators political agendas. This study aspires to gauge the impact of advancing e-mail technology on Illinois legislators perceptions and attitudes toward constituent e-mail.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Louis Day; Kirby Goidel; James Garand; Ralph Izard; Timothy Cook; Ronald Niedrich

School:Louisiana State University in Shreveport

School Location:USA - Louisiana

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:mass communication


Date of Publication:04/04/2005

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