Fewer Americans think government is doing a good job protecting rights: poll
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Less than half of Americans say the U.S. government is doing a good job protecting civil liberties like freedom of speech and the right to vote, according to a poll published Friday.

The survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in mid-August found that 43 percent of respondents gave the federal government a positive rating in regards to protecting the right to vote, with 37 percent disapproving of the government's performance on that issue.

When it came to protecting freedom of speech, 45 percent said they approved of the government’s job, while 32 percent disapproved.

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Several other rights and freedoms received high marks from less than half of respondents: 44 percent approved of the government's protection of freedom of the press and 42 percent said the same of the right to peacefully assemble.

Freedom of religion was the only area where more than half of respondents — 51 percent — said the government was doing a good job.

The survey of Americans' views on rights and freedoms began in 2011, and the responses for several questions have changed dramatically compared with a decade ago.

Ten years ago, 84 percent of respondents said the government is doing a good job protecting voting rights, while 75 percent approved of the government’s efforts protecting freedom of religion.

The AP-NORC poll was conducted Aug. 12-16 and surveyed 1,729 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.