Seventy-four percent of Americans favor states holding early voting for at least two weeks before the election and support making Election Day a federal holiday, according to a national poll released Thursday by the University of Southern California. Florida (USF).
The poll, conducted among a thousand voters, details that the majority supports the key provisions of the bill known as the “Freedom to Vote Act”, which had a setback this Wednesday in the US Senate due to the unanimous blockade of the Republican opposition and the divisions within the Democrats.
The initiative, spearheaded by President Joe Biden, seeks to change the way Americans register to vote and cast ballots to protect the right to vote.
The bill that Democrats wanted to pass in the Senate would have guaranteed the right to early voting and voting by mail, as well as making Election Day a national holiday, which could increase turnout as the US moves to vote. always holds elections on a working Tuesday in November.
The survey, carried out between January 6 and 10, before the failure of the initiative in the Senate, showed that a majority approves several of the proposals.
64% agree to require states to allow same-day voter registration and 63% agree to require states to allow voting by mail.
Similarly, 62% believe states should be required to allow online voter registration.
“While there is widespread support for electoral reforms, the majority of Americans say that valid photo identification should be required to vote,” the USF detailed.
A large majority of respondents (83%) say voters should be required to show valid photo ID when voting.
Researchers from USF in association with Florida International University (FIU) further noted that Americans are divided on the safety of voting by mail.
50% of respondents believe that voting by mail is less secure than voting in person, while 44% said it is about the same.
Respondents are also strongly divided on the fairness of the national elections: 54% were “very” or “somewhat confident” that they “are being conducted fairly” and 46% said they were “not very confident” or “any”.
85% of Democrats were “very” or “somewhat confident,” compared to just 27% of Republicans and 52% of independents.
On the other hand, a slim majority of Americans would favor a change to a national popular vote in choosing the president, but they are divided on the electoral implications of such a change, according to the poll conducted with a margin of error of plus or minus the 3 %.
52% say they would favor a change to the current Electoral College system and 69% feel this would significantly change the outcome of US elections.