A new poll shows that an overwhelming majority of voters in key battleground states have faith that elections will be conducted fairly and accurately in November. The poll was released days before the 2022 midterm elections, which could end up seeing a repeat of 2020 efforts to undermine elections.
The Secure Democracy Foundation, Issue One, Unite America and RepresentUs conducted a poll in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin on voter confidence in the democratic process. They found that 78% of voters in these states are confident in their state’s elections.
Additionally, the poll found that:
- “94% of voters agree their state body has a responsibility to certify election results as faithfully reported by local election officials.”
- “80% of voters think their state body should certify the election even if a losing candidate refuses to concede, including 79% of Republican voters.”
- “88% of voters express confidence in Election Day voting at a polling location.”
- “Nearly 8 in 10 voters express confidence in election results tabulated by a voting machine (79%).”
The poll suggests that in states where election fraud claims were highest in 2020 (despite no evidence of impropriety) election deniers represent an extreme minority – despite how vocal they try to be.
Many candidates who continue to push the fraud narrative from 2020 are on the ballot in 2022 and are setting up to make similar claims this year unless they win. So, voters should be prepared for the potential of more chaos following the midterms.
“Pollster Frank Luntz has been urgently warning the public about this possibility,” writes RepresentUs CEO Joshua Graham Lynn.
“In one of his several recent national TV interviews, he even says he’s “scared to death” of what might happen. From candidates refusing to commit to accepting certified election results to former President Donald Trump gearing up to challenge results he doesn’t like, there’s reason for concern at every turn.”
Do not dismiss these concerns as hyperbole, especially in the wake of January 6, 2021. Courts have already had to intervene in the 2022 election cycle to stop partisan machinations from overturning or stalling primary election results deemed to be legitimate.
It is a tense time for poll workers as many received intimidating and threatening messages in 2020, including death threats. A March 2022 survey conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice found that a third of election workers knew at least one coworker who left the job partly due to safety concerns.
"Americans in overwhelming numbers value free and fair elections, which is why election officials should be able to do their jobs free of intimidation and political interference,” said Nick Troiano, executive director of Unite America.
Voters need to be aware of the ongoing efforts to undermine elections. We have a system in which winning is more important than the will of voters, and when one side is desperate enough to hold on to power, there is no limit to what they will do – including spreading lies about the legitimacy of elections.
The only way out of the downward spiral in US elections is to reform how we elect public officials. The current incentive is for candidates to serve the interest of private political parties, as well as self-serving and special interests. This has resulted in the "win at all cost" mentality among partisans.
We need to shift the incentive to put voters first, and the only way to do that is to have elections that put voters first.