New Pew survey data on voter confidence, electronic voting, and early voting

There is some new survey data from Pew, that has some interesting results on voter confidence, electronic voting, and early voting.

  • On voter confidence: it hasn’t changed much in the aggregate since 2004, but
    there is still are large differences in confidence of Democrats and Republicans, as well as evidence that the confidence of African-Americans has slipped considerably since 2004. From the Pew report:

    Most voters (58%) say they are very confident that their votes will be accurately counted in the upcoming election. Another 29% say they are somewhat confident their votes will be counted correctly. Only about one-in-ten voters (12%) say they are not too confident or not at all confident their votes will accurately counted.

    Attitudes on this issue have not changed much since the 2004 presidential campaign. In mid-October of 2004, 62% of voters expressed a high level of confidence their votes would be accurately counted, while 26% said they were somewhat confident their vote would be accurately counted.

    There continues to be a large partisan gap in confidence that votes will be counted correctly in November; 79% of Republicans express a high degree of confidence their votes will be accurately counted, compared with 45% of Democrats.

    Notably, African American voters express much more skepticism their votes will be accurately counted than they did in the fall of 2004. Just 30% say they are very confident their votes will be accurately counted, down from 47% two years ago. The percentage of black voters who express little or no confidence in vote-counting procedures has approximately doubled ­ from 15% to 29%. More than three times as many blacks as whites now say they have little or no confidence their vote will be accurately tallied (29% vs. 8%).

  • On the new voting technology: more awareness of the new technology than in 2004, and some partisan differences in perceptions of whether it will improve the situation or not. From the report:

    About two-thirds of voters (68%) say they have heard that states are using new technology at polling places, which changes the way votes are cast and counted. Three-in-ten say it makes things better, compared with 11% who say it makes things worse. However, a relatively large minority of voters say it does not make much difference, or offer no opinion (32% combined).

    Republicans are more bullish about the changes in the way votes are cast and counted than are either Democrats or independents. Roughly four-in-ten Republican voters (41%) say it will make things better; that compares with 28% of independent voters and 25% of Democratic voters.

  • Voting by mail: there is considerably support for voluntary voting by mail, though resistence to moving solely to a national vote by mail system.
  • Will people vote early this year? The survey found that 14% of of registered voters plan on viting early this fall, with 24% of those 65 or over planning on voting early. Furthermore, early voting is more likely to be an option in western states, as 34% of registered voters from those states say they will vote early this fall.