New Poll Shows Georgia Voters’ Deep Concern About Pandemic

August 20, 2020

Strong support for bold policy solutions to help working families, businesses, and ensure the safety and accessibility of elections

The coronavirus surfaces as the top issue priority for Georgia voters and this concern cuts across partisan lines.  A recent poll conducted by TargetSmart and commissioned by the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) shows Georgians have deep concerns about the pandemic’s impact on the 2020 elections and the economy.

Georgians Support Steps to Ensure Safe and Accessible Elections and Reduce Barriers for Black Voters

Georgia voters overwhelmingly believe that the state government has a role to play in safely and fairly administering elections (92%). Georgians are split on how they plan to vote in November, with fairly even shares of voters reporting intentions to vote early in person (30%), by mail (30%), and in-person on Election Day (37%).

Whether or not they are choosing to vote in person or by mail, voters supported policies to ensure the election is safe and accessible for all eligible voters:

  • Open additional polling locations to reduce crowds and lines (90%);
  • Lengthen the window for early voting and allow voters to cast ballots in person up through the day before Election Day (85%);
  • Mail all registered voters applications to vote-by-mail (67%);
  • Offer mail-in ballot tracking (87%);
  • Count mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day, but received after (67%); and
  • Immediately notify voters if there is a problem with their mail-in ballot (90%).

Notably, Georgians agree that the state should reduce barriers that stop Black people from voting (68%) and a majority of voters (56%) agree that systemic racism has prevented Black people and other people of color from being able to participate fully in our democracy.

The Role of Government in Issues Facing Georgia

When asked if the state government should play a role in investing in the health, economic, and overall security of the people, voters overwhelmingly supported government engagement in: 

  • Safely and fairly administering elections (92%);
  • Ensuring equal access to high-quality K-12 education (87%);
  • Stopping the spread of the coronavirus (86%);
  • Ensuring struggling families and children have access to food (83%);
  • Equal pay for equal work (80%); and
  • Ensuring access to affordable health care (77%).

Voters Concerned about COVID Impact on Health and Strongly Support Bold Economic Policies

By a nearly three-to-one margin, Georgia voters want state governments to invest in its residents to ensure they are safe, healthy, and economically secure (61%) rather than the state keeping taxes low and cutting funds to key services like education, infrastructure, and unemployment insurance (20%).

Over 2-in-5 Georgia respondents reported they have been laid-off or had their hour cut (41%). Voters express grave concerns about small business closures (85%) and losing work and income (87%). Georgians also believe businesses should be required to provide safe working conditions or be penalized for negligence if workers get sick (62%).

Given the current crisis, Georgians support policies that will address the economic hardships being faced by many:

  • Providing low-interest loans to small businesses to help them make it through the crisis (92%);
  • Extending the grace period for people to pay health insurance bills before their coverage can be canceled (88%);
  • Limiting what drug companies can charge for prescription drugs (85%);
  • Requiring workplaces to provide paid sick days to their employees (85%); 
  • Offering people in Georgia the option to buy into the same public health insurance plans that are available to state employees if they want to (84%); and
  • Creating an insurance plan to provide paid family and medical leave for employees (81%).

Click here for more results.

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