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Large majorities in new poll want tighter voting rules after 2020 election controversies

Voters prefer one-day election results, voter ID, hard ballot deadlines, ban on "ballot harvesting."

Published: July 15, 2021 11:04am

Updated: July 15, 2021 11:42pm

Large majorities of voters are in favor of tighter voting rules and restrictions in the wake of months of controversy following the 2020 election, new polling shows. 

The polling, drawn from national surveys by veteran pollster Scott Rasmussen, indicates that up to three-quarters of U.S. voters are opposed to the looser voting regulations that were put in place for much of last year's presidential election. 

A full 70% of voters, for instance, would like a hard Election Day deadline for mail-in ballots, indicating broad opposition to the post-election deadlines that many jurisdictions put in place for the Nov. 3 election. 

A whopping 76% favor requiring photo ID to vote. White House and Democratic Party messaging has sought to paint ID requirements as Republican "voter suppression" tactics.

Rasmussen found that 65% of voters "believe government agencies should be required to report the vote totals from all ballots either on Election Night or the next day." In many cases in 2020, reporting totals in cities and states around the U.S. dragged out for several days after the election. Just 18% of voters were opposed to such a requirement. 

Nearly 60% of voters, meanwhile, want a ban on the practice of "ballot harvesting," in which workers collect absentee ballots from voters and drop them off at a central location. 

The numbers represent a resounding rejection of some of the most debated and criticized aspects of the 2020 election, in which governments and local municipalities drastically altered voting procedures ostensibly as a means to avoid outbreaks of SARS-Cov-2. 

The results further reflect widespread distrust in the U.S. election system, albeit of a sort that is strongly correlated with political affiliation. 

Surveys by Rasmussen have shown that nearly 60% of voters "have confidence in U.S. election results." Currently, 87% of Democrats express confidence in the system, Rasmussen noted, while 63% of Republicans do not. 

"This partisan divide is fairly typical — the party which controls the White House ... is more likely to consider the process fair," Rasmussen noted. The percentage of Americans who are willing to accept election results across party lines is relatively small: Barely one-quarter of voters view both Donald Trump and Joe Biden as the legitimate winners of the 2016 and 2020 elections, respectively. 

In March of this year, a majority of Democrats believed Hillary Clinton had won 2016, while a slightly larger majority of Republicans believed Trump had won in 2020. 

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