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Nearly half of voters expect difficulty casting ballots, research finds

Salt Lake County ballot box on Super Tuesday March 3, 2020. (John Wojcik KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Nearly half of U.S. voters report they expect voting in November will be met with some difficulty  — a stark increase from 15% expressing the same concern during the 2018 midterms. 

This comes despite studies expecting higher engagement in the upcoming presidential election. 

A new poll from Pew Research Center finds 49% of voters believe casting a ballot will be difficult, compared to 50% who say it will be somewhat easy. 

On average, voters throwing their support behind President Donald Trump say they aren’t worried. About 64% of Republicans report they expect trouble-free voting, compared to 90% in 2018. 

However, those voting for Joe Biden report worries about a difficult election — with 60% of Democrats expecting some sort of obstacle to casting a ballot. This is an increase from 35% in 2018. 

Democrats worry about voting difficulty as Trump cuts support to USPS

This comes at the same time President Trump announced he would not approve $25 billion in emergency funds to the U.S. Postal Service, repeating claims the company is incapable of facilitating mail-in voting for November. This would lead to the “most INACCURATE and FRAUDULENT Election in history,” the president tweeted. 

 

“Now, they need that money in order to make the Post Office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network with Maria Bartiromo. “Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting, they just can’t have it.”

This was met with immediate disagreement from Democrats, with many calling it an attack on a fair election. 

The president’s beliefs are reflected in his supporters, as Pew Research Center finds 80% of registered voters who support Trump would rather vote in-person. Only 17% would prefer voting by mail. 

On the other hand, 58% of voters who say they’ll vote for Biden support voting by mail. 

Most voters say election “really matters”

This comes as the presidential race is heating up — with Biden announcing Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate Tuesday and the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the November election. 

Roughly 83% of registered voters say it “really matters” who wins the upcoming election, compared to 74% in 2016. It’s the highest rate of interest in the last two decades, according to the Pew Research Center. 

The center also reports if the election was today, 53% of voters would vote for Biden — with President Trump at 45%. 

Despite the trailing support, voters casting a ballot for President Trump show stronger enthusiasm. Two-thirds of the president’s supporters (66%) say they “strongly support” Trump, whereas only 46% of Biden supporters say the same. 

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