MI Poll: Voters Want Focus on Election Security

February 2020 in , ,

Survey also examined attitudes around additional voting reforms and participation in the upcoming 2020 Census

LANSING, Mich. – As early voting began last week in Michigan, a recent statewide survey of Michigan residents shows they are concerned about protecting the elections process and want elected officials to make election security a priority. The poll also gathered opinions about expanded voting reforms and how residents plan to participate in the census this year. The poll was conducted by Lincoln Park Strategies on behalf of the State Innovation Exchange (SiX).

Forty percent of residents want the focus of election security to be both “improving the voting process to make it more secure” and “protecting voters from misinformation online.” Of the several proposals for improving the system, three in particular were favored by more than 70% of respondents:

  • 80% support “increased oversight of voting machine vendors”
  • 75% support “increased transparency of online ads”
  • 70% support “additional funding to secure equipment”

Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has taken a number of proactive measures to increase confidence in the voting process, including appointing an Election Security Commission and the first-ever elections security expert to help coordinate efforts. Secretary Benson and local clerks are also able to use a number of new tools that are a result of the successful Proposal 3 ballot initiative in 2018.  

“Our Secretary of State and the clerks who are on the frontline of defending democracy are taking these threats seriously,” said State Representative Vanessa Guerra (Saginaw), Minority Vice-Chair of the House Elections and Ethics Committee. “As lawmakers, we must not let up on identifying these risks—including coordinated misinformation campaigns and voter suppression—and taking strong steps to guard against them.”

“The people of Michigan understand how important it is to have confidence in our system of democracy because the results impact so many of the issues we deal with every day—from the conditions of our roads to the safety of our water,” said State Senator Paul Wojno (Warren), Minority Vice-Chair of the Senate Elections Committee and former Warren City Clerk. “I am committed to working with both sides of the aisle to make sure our voting process is secure, convenient, and transparent.”

The survey also found that 60% of respondents favor a system where voters are automatically mailed a ballot that they can mail back to their clerk. And when asked about the upcoming census, 82% of respondents said they planned to complete the census online or by mail (43% online, 39% by mail), while only 6% expected to complete it with someone visiting them in person. This is the first time the information can be gathered online. For more information on the census visit this recently launched website for Michigan.

Links to the full results and analysis can be found here. Interviews of 1,200 registered voters were conducted online and by phone (landline and cell) between November 7-18, 2019. Results were weighted to ensure proportional response and the margin of error is +/- 2.8% at the 95% confidence level (higher for subgroups).

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The State Innovation Exchange (SiX) is a national resource and strategy center that collaborates with state legislators to improve people’s lives through transformative public policy. SiX provides legislators with on-the-ground support; creates tailored policy research, trainings, and communications guidance; and fosters collaboration between legislators—across chambers, across regions, and across state lines—and with grassroots movements.