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The Internet's effect on Congress

Ever wonder what kind of impact the Internet, particularly email, has had on Congress? It's so easy to blast off an email to your representative these days. It could also be easy for some no-gooders to automatically submit those online contact forms, too.

Here's a study from CMFWEB on how the Internet has affected Congress. Some highlights:

  • In 2004, the House received 99,053,399 communications by Internet. The Senate received 83,000,000 by internet.
  • Half of House and Senate senior managers surveyed also report their offices have reallocated resources to responding to communications over the last two years.
  • only 17% of House offices and 38% of Senate offices answer all incoming e-mail with e-mail. The large majority of offices respond to some or all of their e-mail with postal letters.
  • Half of congressional staff surveyed believe identical form communications are not sent with constituents’ knowledge or consent. Another 25% are unsure about the legitimacy of these communications.
  • Only 3% of staff surveyed say identical form postal mail would have “a lot” of influence on their Member of Congress if he/she had not reached a decision. In contrast, 44% report individualized postal letters would have “a lot” of influence.

Source: found this link in the latest Convio Connection newsletter.

July 31, 2006 in Stats | Permalink


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