Majority of Americans expect COVID-19 will disrupt ability to vote in fall, poll shows

Tribune Content Agency

Two-thirds of Americans recently polled say the coronavirus outbreak will significantly impact the ability to vote in this fall’s presidential election.

The same poll by Pew Research Center also shows people have high support for the right to vote in the presidential election by mail.

Pew surveyed more than 4,917 U.S. adults earlier this month and “the survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories,” the national research center wrote. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points, Pew said.

Eighty% of Democrats and 50% of Republicans polled say COVID-19 will disrupt the fall election. There are more than 1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and more than 57,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, as some states throughout the country are beginning to reopen.

Pew also said the people it polled who believe the outbreak will disrupt voting “are less likely to express confidence the election will be conducted fairly and accurately.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, running for president against Donald Trump, said last week he believes Trump would attempt to delay the election.

“Mark my words, I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” Biden said, according to McClatchy News.

Trump denied Monday he would attempt to change the election date. “Why would I do that?” he asked, Newsweek reported.

As some states are weighing voting options for the fall, there is overwhelmingly majority support by Democrats who favor voting by mail. Eighty-seven% of Democrats favor the option, while Republicans are split nearly 50-50, according to Pew’s poll.

A majority of voters now favor all elections being done by the mail, according to Pew. In fall 2018, just 34% of Americans favored it, according to Pew.

Earlier this month, Trump urged Republicans to “fight very hard” against mail-in voting expansion during the pandemic.

“Democrats are clamoring for it,” Trump tweeted. “Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.”


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