Despite partisan fear-mongering over how the COVID-19 pandemic could impact the November election, most voters feel they’ll be safe when voting. This cuts across demographic groups, as well as those who are concerned local officials are not prepared for the elections and those who believe their vote will not be counted accurately.
According to a May/June 2020 RAND Corporation American Life Panel survey, 67% of non-Hispanics, 54% of Hispanics, 86% of Republicans, 64% of Independents, 54% of Democrats, 68% of those who voted in 2016 and/or 2018, 50% of those who did not vote in 2016 and/or 2018, 71% of those who believe local officials are prepared for the elections, 56% of those who believe that local officials are not prepared for the election, 73% of those who believe their votes will be counted accurately, and 50% of those who believe their votes will not be counted accurately feel they will be safe from COVID-19 health risks when they go to the polls this November.
While voter intent is on par with previous election years and a majority of voters feel safe, RAND’s study does show that about a third of voters are unsure about election integrity, concerned for their physical safety, and/or harbor doubts about the preparedness of election officials. To prevent that number from increasing and depressing overall turnout, state and local officials must undertake an efficient outreach to explain how they’re adapting to new voting methods, taking precautions, and adjusting to pandemic protocols.
“When you think about voting in November 2020, do you feel that you will be safe from risks to your physical health stemming from COVID-19?”