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Democrats not confident 2020 US election will be fair, survey finds | US news

As America hurdles towards the critical 2020 presidential election during the Covid-19 pandemic, less than half of Democrats are confident it will be fair and accurate, according to a new national survey from the Pew Research Center.

Just 46% of Democrats are confident in the fairness and accuracy of the November election, the survey found. Even fewer are confident all citizens will be able to vote if they want to.

That’s a sharp break from Republicans: 75% of them believe the election will be fair and accurate, and 87% were confident all eligible citizens will be eligible to vote, the survey found.

The findings underscore the partisan divide over the right to vote. Democrats across the US generally are pushing to ease restrictions on voting, saying the policies needlessly shut out eligible voters. Republicans largely have defended those restrictions, saying elections are vulnerable to fraud, though several studies have shown it is exceptionally rare.

Overall, 59% of Americans are confident the election will be fair and accurate, and 63% believe all eligible citizens will be able to vote.

Though Donald Trump has criticized efforts to expand vote by mail during the Covid-19 crisis, claiming it would boost voter fraud and Democratic turnout, the survey found less partisan divide on the topic.

In states where vote by mail is already widely used, nearly 70% of Republicans support expanding vote by mail. Even in states where mail-in voting is not widely used, 40% of Republicans support expanding it.

Overall, 70% of Americans support allowing any voter to vote with a mail-in ballot if they want to, the survey found, echoing other national polls. Republicans were nearly evenly divided on whether anyone should be allowed to vote with a mail-in ballot.

“Those who interact with a vote-by-mail environment and regime understand that it has a lot of advantages,” said Tammy Patrick, an elections expert at the Democracy Fund and a former Arizona election official. “When you have misinformation at the highest levels being dispersed on what will happen … it’s very difficult to remove the partisan implications even when they don’t exist.”

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