Most Americans likely to cast ballots say that voter identification laws are not discriminatory, including a majority of blacks and other minority voters in the U.S., according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey.
Sixty-two percent of “Likely U.S. Voters” say that requiring an ID before casting a ballot is not discriminatory, compared to 29 percent of respondents who believe it is, the pollster noted Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the survey also found that just over half of respondents — 51 percent — also believe that cheating occurred during the 2020 election and that it affected the outcome of the presidential contest. That figure includes 35 percent who said they think it’s “Very Likely” cheating affected the outcome.
There was a distinctly partisan response pattern in the survey, with nearly three-quarters of self-identified Republicans (74 percent) saying they believe cheating occurred, compared with just 30 percent of Democrats. However, 51 percent of voters who do not identify with either of the two major parties also believe cheating took place.
There was also agreement among a majority of respondents across ethnic groups that both cheating and voter integrity were major concerns.
“Majorities of all racial groups – 59% of whites, 56% of Blacks and 63% of other minority voters – say it is more important to make sure there is no cheating in elections than to make it easier to vote,” the pollster noted. “Likewise, majorities of all racial groups – 64% of whites, 59% of Blacks and 58% of other minority voters – reject the claim that voter ID laws discriminate against some voters.”
The survey consisted of 1,000 Likely Voters in the U.S. and was conducted April 11-12. It has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence, Rasmussen notes. All field surveys for the polling firm are conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
Concerns over election integrity among a large plurality, if not an outright majority, of Americans, have been an issue since November, with Republicans, especially, critical of changes to voting and balloting rules in key battleground states that they feel improperly tipped the scale in President Joe Biden’s favor.
Former President Donald Trump himself has repeatedly insisted that the changes resulted in widespread voter fraud, though his legal team was never given an opportunity to argue their cases before a jury in court.
That said, Trump, early in his term, attempted to address the issue of voter integrity by signing an executive order creating a commission headed by then-Vice President Mike Pence to look into the issue. The panel was empowered to identify “vulnerabilities” in U.S. balloting systems as well as “improper voting, fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent voting,” according to a May 2017 report.
But the commission was disbanded the following January because several states refused to cooperate by providing voter data. Also, several lawsuits were filed in opposition of the panel.
During the 2020 election cycle, some Democrat-aligned legal groups and attorneys filed motions with several states to change their voting rules and regulations ostensibly to make balloting safer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump’s legal team, as well as more than a dozen states, argued the changes were unconstitutional because they were not made via state legislatures, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
In February, Time magazine published a story detailing “a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes” in reference to what was described as a “shadow campaign” designed to “oppose Trump’s assault on democracy.” The conspiracy involved a “cabal of powerful people” who worked together in secret to “control the flow of information” and to get “states to change voting systems and laws.”
In response, several states are moving to shore up voter integrity laws to avoid a repeat ahead of the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election.
In the run-up to a meeting of Republican attorneys general in February, Texas AG Ken Paxton identified the issue as central to protecting the credibility of election outcomes moving forward.
“I don’t think there’s a more important issue than election integrity. Because if we go forward with what happened in this last election, Americans will never know whether our elections are credible. And that destroys a democracy and puts us in positions more like Venezuela than it does the America we all know and love,” he told podcaster Steve Bannon.
Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the several election integrity reforms he would be pursuing, including a ban on “mass mailing of vote-by-mail ballots.”
And last month, Republicans in Georgia passed a new voter reform law that strengthened vote-by-mail ID requirements, which was almost universally opposed by Democrats and their supporters and which led to widespread calls for boycotts of the state.