Disenfranchising Voters a Bigger Concern than Election Fraud: Poll

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Photo by Brian Kusler via Flickr

A majority of Americans believe that disenfranchising eligible voters of more concern than voter fraud, according to a new poll conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The telephone poll reflects bipartisan support for voting reforms in the proposed For The  People Act in Congress—which is likely to receive a thumbs down in the Senate Tuesday.

The poll also shows that Americans still remain divided along partisan lines about the results of the last election.

“Disenfranchising eligible voters is nominally a bigger concern than voter fraud, but the sizable number of Americans who cling to the view that fraud determined the 2020 election poses an intractable challenge for reaching any public consensus on voting access,”  said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute via the Monmouth website.

The telephone poll, based on 810 responses from U.S. voting-age adults with a 3.5 percent margin of error, found overwhelming support –71 percent – for the notion that the process of voting early in-person should be made easier for the public.

However the concept of voting was more divided when discussing voting by mail, a method that became controversial after the 2020 presidential election.

Only 50 percent of respondents said that the process of mail-in voting should be made easier, a 21 percent drop from opinions on in-person voting. Support is more heavily favored by respondents identifying as Democrats, with 84 percent of Democrat respondents in support of easier mail-in voting and only 40 percent of Independents and 26 percent of Republican respondents agreeing.

Some 80 percent of respondents also believed that photo identification for voters should be required.

Over 90 criminal justice leaders from around the country warned in a recent stsatement that state efforts to change voting rules could strain law enforcement resources and pose a threat to public safety.

The “recent slate of state laws …create a wholly unnecessary set of new criminal and civil penalties—punitive responses that will further damage already frayed bonds of trust with communities,” wrote Miriam Krinsky and Andrew Warren in an essay in The Crime Report.

The Monmouth poll shows deep support for measures making it easier to vote.

“The bottom line seems to be that most Democrats and Republicans want to take the potential for election results to be questioned off the table,” said Murray.

“The problem, though, is they aren’t likely to agree on how to get there.”

One-third of poll respondents still believe erroneously that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election as a result of voter fraud.

The poll also reflects the nation’s split opinions on voting rights.

The act, which passed in the House but is projected not to pass in the Senate due to Republican opposition, would make Election Day a national holiday and seek to provide voters with more security and access to early mail-in voting.

“This is the act that needs to pass if we want our country to have a real and true democracy,” said Josh Wells, an activist from Phoenix, AZ, who took a bus to Washington D.C. to show his support for the act.

Wells was just one of hundreds of activists travelling to the city to show support Tuesday,  according to an NBC News segment.

According to the demographic data released with the poll. 63 percent of poll respondents were white, 12 percent were Black, 16 percent were Hispanic and 9 percent were listed as “Asian/other.”

Some 44 percent of respondents identified as Independent, then 32 percent identified as Democrat and 24 percent Republican. Additionally, 69 percent of respondents reported having no college degree compared to 31 percent saying that they had a four-year degree.

Nearly two dozen questions from the poll have not yet been released to the public.

Access the poll results here.

Emily Riley is a TCR Justice Reporting intern.

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