Fraud at Polls Is Very Rare. Many Voters Expect It Anyway.
Two years of a steady drumbeat about fraud in American elections is having its effect.
Even though Election Day is still more than three weeks away, an Axios poll finds that 39% of Republicans already think a defeat for their party next month would likely be the result of fraud and 25% of Democrats think the same. This is unfortunately not a new problem. In 2017, a year after the 2016 election, one in four Democrats believed Donald Trump was an illegitimate president. Today, nearly 70% of Republicans believe President Biden was not legitimately elected.
And quiet efforts may be underway to undermine public confidence. Election workers are typically civic-minded volunteers doing their part in their neighborhoods to make elections smooth and secure. But the Bipartisan Policy Center warns in a new brief that this year, some may be “recruited and trained by organizations with nefarious intent [to] undermine security and trust in the election process.”
Voter fraud in the U.S. is exceedingly rare: just 0.00006% of all votes cast over the past 20 years have been fraudulent. That's something like a couple of dozen ballots out of more than a billion votes casted. But just 20% of Americans are very confident in the integrity of our election system.
The good news: Axios said its poll “found that Americans who’d shared at least one meal in the past month with others from different political affiliations would be more skeptical about jumping to conclusions that election fraud caused a loss.”
Said pollster Chris Jackson: “When you have connections across the aisle with other people, you’re less likely to give into or even entertain some of the ‘crazy.’”
No Labels believes in building those connections. In our earliest days, we knocked on doors on Capitol Hill, encouraging members of opposing parties just to converse, and then to sit together during the State of the Union address. We’re still forging bipartisan connections today, both in Washington and among our membership. Join us in our effort.
Now we want to know what you think. Take our poll: Do you have confidence in the integrity of our election system?