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The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research

The Intersection of Insight and Journalism

Concerns About the Vulnerability of the Election System Are Widespread Ahead of the 2018 Midterms

The new UChicago Harris/AP-NORC Poll finds Democrats have grown increasingly concerned about election security in the last two years while Republicans have grown more confident.

Many Americans lack confidence in the security and accuracy of the country's voting system heading into the 2018 midterm elections. The public's overall concern about the vulnerability of the election system to hackers has changed little since 2016, but there have been dramatic shifts in the relative opinions of Democrats and Republicans.

The new UChicago Harris/AP-NORC Poll finds Democrats have grown increasingly concerned about election security in the last two years while Republicans have grown more confident.

Most believe state, local, and federal election officials as well as intelligence and national security agencies should take responsibility for addressing the security of elections. Fewer, but still a majority, say Congress and the President should have a great deal or quite a bit of responsibility.

When it comes to how people vote, the public has the most confidence when there is a voting machine with a paper record, which is the most popular voting method in the country and was used by about 61 percent of jurisdictions in 2016.

In contrast, fewer Americans are confident that votes are accurately counted with newer election methods such as online voting or elections conducted only with mail-in ballots.

The nationwide poll was conducted by The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research from September 13 to 16, 2018, using AmeriSpeak®, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,059 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.3 percentage points.

 Report

Concerns About the Vulnerability of the Election System Are Widespread Ahead of the 2018 Midterms