Majorities in new poll support early voting, voter ID

Majorities in new poll support early voting, voter ID

A majority of people surveyed in a new poll believe that in-person early voting should be made easier, and that voters should be required to show photo identification before casting ballots.

The Monmouth University Poll survey found that 71 percent think early voting should generally be made easier, while only 16 percent say it should be made harder.

Support among respondents was even higher when it came to photo identification for casting ballots. The poll determined that 80 percent of those polled support requiring photo identification when voting, while only 18 percent are opposed.

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Both efforts garnered bipartisan support, according to the poll. Eighty-nine percent of Democratic respondents, 68 percent of independent respondents and 56 percent of Republican respondents supported making access to early voting easier. Additionally, 62 percent of Democrats polled, 87 percent of independents polled and 91 percent of Republicans polled backed requiring photo identification to vote.

Opinion was divided, however, when weighing in on voting by mail: 50 percent of respondents said it should be made easier, while 39 percent said it should be more difficult to vote by mail.

Eighty-four percent of Democrats surveyed said voting by mail should be easier, while just 40 percent of independent respondents supported easing voting-by-mail, and 26 percent of Republicans surveyed did.

There was consensus, however, on creating national guidelines for voting by mail and early voting.

The poll found that 69 percent of respondents supported establishing national regulations for federal elections in every state, while just 25 percent were opposed.

When broken down by party, the poll found that 92 percent of Democratic respondents, 63 percent of independent respondents and 51 percent of Republican respondents support the effort to have federal elections laws.

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The new data from Monmouth comes more than seven months after the 2020 presidential election, which saw a huge spike in voting by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The poll also comes as a number of GOP-led states work to implement sweeping voting reforms, which in some cases make it more difficult for citizens to access the ballot box, including reducing the number and hours of polling places, scaling back early voting hours and shortening the window in which voters can request absentee ballots.

Such legislation has already been signed in Florida, Georgia and Montana, all of which passed bills that call for new voter identification requirements for individuals who vote by mail.

Legislators in Arkansas, Montana and Wyoming recently passed measures that mandate new identification requirements for voters who show up at the polls.