Will Pandemic Concerns Cause Some Voters to Skip 2020 Election? Survey Finds Concerns Vary by Race, Education Levels, Party Affiliation
Aug 27, 2020
RAND authors analyzed responses from 2,389 survey respondents about public safety, election integrity, and preparedness of local officials to manage the November 2020 election in the pandemic context. Responses indicate that although most voters say they believe that voting will be safe and that their vote will be counted despite the pandemic, those who question election safety and some who question election integrity appear less likely to vote.
Preparing for Elections During a Pandemic
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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has presented a severe threat to state election plans in 2020 for primaries and for the general election. To conduct an election during a potentially continuing threat from COVID-19, states need to consider how to conduct voter registration and provide voting options. How voters perceive and respond to these measures could affect turnout. RAND authors analyzed responses from 2,389 survey respondents about their expectations for public safety, election integrity, and the preparedness of local officials to manage the November 2020 election in the pandemic context. Responses indicate that both demographic characteristics and political partisanship influence respondent attitudes toward election safety, integrity, and preparedness. Although most voters say they believe that voting will be safe and that their vote will be counted despite the pandemic, those who question election safety and some who question election integrity appear less likely to vote. This report is part of RAND's Countering Truth Decay initiative, which is focused on restoring the role of facts, data, and analysis in U.S. political and civil discourse and the policymaking process.
Assessments of Safety, Integrity, and Preparedness
How Do Perceptions Shape Intention to Vote?
Conclusions and Implications
Weighted Characteristics and Regression Models
Funding for RAND's Countering Truth Decay research initiative is provided by gifts from RAND supporters and income from operations. RAND would like to recognize the Joel and Joanne Mogy Truth Decay Fellowship, established by the Mogys in 2020 to support research on Truth Decay, civics, and democracy. The authors drew from the Mogys' generous gift to fund this project.
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