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Most Americans Favor Voting by Mail as Option in November

Most Americans Favor Voting by Mail as Option in November

Story Highlights

  • 64% of Americans favor allowing voting by mail this November
  • 83% of Democrats favor such measures
  • Republicans most likely to oppose and harbor concern for fraud

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- While most Americans (64%) favor their state allowing all voters to vote by mail or absentee ballot, differences arise among key demographic subgroups. Eighty-three percent of Democrats say they favor such a measure, but fewer than half as many Republicans, 40%, express the same sentiment. Sixty-eight percent of independents support state measures that would allow mail or absentee ballots, similar to the level among all Americans.

Americans' Support for Voting By Mail
Would you favor or oppose your state allowing all voters to vote by mail or absentee ballot in this year's presidential election?
Favor Oppose
% %
All Americans 64 34
Political affiliation
Republican 40 59
Independent 68 29
Democrat 83 15
18-29 73 26
30-49 65 31
50-64 62 38
65+ 55 43
Gallup, April 14-28

Generationally, younger respondents are the most likely to favor enabling all voters to vote via mail. Yet across all age groups, a majority of Americans back the idea. While most registered voters (62%) favor such measures, unregistered voters are even more likely (75%) to do so.

Of the one-third of respondents who say they have ever voted by absentee ballot or mail in an election, 71% favor their state allowing all voters to cast ballots this way in November. This drops to 60% among those who have not voted absentee or by mail.

Fraud and the 2020 Vote

Gallup also asked respondents whether they were concerned about fraud in the electoral process as an outcome of voting by mail. Overall, nearly half of Americans say there would be more fraud if ballots were cast by mail, 29% say there would be the same amount, and 20% think there would be less fraud.

Americans' Views on the Impact of Voting by Mail on Voter Fraud
Do you think there would be -- if all voters cast their votes by mail?
More fraud Same amount Less fraud No opinion
% % % %
All Americans 49 29 20 2
Political affiliation
Republicans 76 16 6 1
Independents 48 32 18 2
Democrats 27 39 33 2
Gallup, April 14-28

As with overall support for voting by mail, there is a substantial partisan divide when it comes to concerns over voter fraud. Roughly three in four Republicans (76%) say that more fraud is likely if all voters cast their ballots by mail. Democrats, on the other hand, are not concerned: 27% say there would be more fraud while 39% say voting by mail would witness the same amount of fraud and 33% say there would be less.

How Much Fraud?

When asked how much fraud there would be if all voters were allowed to vote by mail this year, 31% of national adults think there would be a great deal, 30% a fair amount, 28% only a little and 10% none. Again, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they would expect a great deal of fraud, 50% vs. 16%.

Americans' Views of the Potential for Fraud in the 2020 Election, if Voting by Mail is Allowed
How much fraud, if any, do you think there would be if all voters were allowed to vote by mail in this year's election -- a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none?
A great deal A fair amount Only a little None No opinion
% % % % %
All Americans 31 30 28 10 1
Political affiliaiton
Republicans 50 31 16 2 -
Independents 29 33 28 9 1
Democrats 16 24 41 18 -
Gallup, April 14-28

Bottom Line

While most Americans support states allowing voters to cast ballots through the mail this November, nearly half say there would be more voter fraud under those circumstances. Attitudes around both voting by mail in general and concern about it causing more voter fraud are politically polarized. Non-registered adults are more likely to favor voting by mail than respondents who identify as registered voters, which could be an indication that non-registered adults may indeed vote if given the mail option.

View complete question responses and trends (PDF download).

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

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