Thinking in general about U.S. elections, 59% of voters are at least somewhat confident the votes are accurately counted and the proper person is declared the winner. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 36% lack such confidence and 5% are not sure.
Those totals include 38% who are Very Confident in the election process and 19% who are Not at All Confident.
Not surprisingly, there is a vast partisan divide on this issue. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Democrats express confidence in the system while 63% or Republicans do not. Independent voters are evenly divided: 46% have some level of confidence while 41% do not.
This partisan divide is fairly typical– the party which controls the White House expresses is more likely to consider the process fair. For example, most Democrats still believe that Hillary Clinton was the legitimate winner of the 2016 election and most Republicans believe Donald Trump was the legitimate winner in 2020. Overall, just 26% of voters believe that the right person was declared the winner in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
The partisan divide helps explain the wildly different perceptions of voting rights’ legislation. Since 9-out-of-10 Democrats have confidence in the system, they see any move to change voting rules as negative. Since Republicans lack confidence in the system, they see a need for improvement. It is likely these positions will be reversed the next time a Republican wins the White House.
Despite the intense partisan polarization, several election reforms are very popular among voters from all partisan and demographic groups:
- 70% want all mail-in ballots to be received by Election Day.
- Sixty-five percent (65%) believe government agencies should be required to report the vote totals from all ballots either on Election Night or the next day.
- Seventy-six percent (76%) believe voters should be required to show photo ID before casting a ballot.
- Fifty-seven percent (57%) believe “ballot harvesting” should be outlawed. Twenty percent (20%) disagree and 23% are not sure.
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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left more than seven years ago and has had no involvement since that time.
The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 8-10, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 231 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Online respondents were selected from a list of Registered Voters and through a process of Random Digital Engagement. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.