July 20, 2020

New Poll Shows Michigan Voters Want State Lawmakers to Act on COVID Threats to Economy and Democracy

Strong support for measures to improve vote by mail process and help workers and small businesses

LANSING, Mich. – As Michigan lawmakers return to session in Lansing this week, a new poll conducted by TargetSmart Communications, LLC, for the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) revealed Michiganders are overwhelmingly supportive of policies that prevent further damage to working families and the elections process as a result of COVID-19. The survey was conducted at the end of June and reached 552 voters across the state online and by phone.

“It’s clear the people of Michigan have made up their minds that state lawmakers should be leaning into making the current process work better, not sowing confusion or disinformation,” said Tom Lenard, Michigan State Director for SiX. “The anxiety that so many communities are dealing with could be lessened by legislators coming together to pursue bold, progressive solutions that help working families and small businesses survive the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.”

Some key election findings in the study include:

  • Michigan voters overwhelmingly believe state government has a role to play in safely and fairly administering elections (87%)
  • The majority of Michiganders report they will vote by mail in the November election (60%)
  • Voters overwhelmingly supported policies to ensure the election is safe and accessible, including:
    • Allowing any registered Michigan voter to vote by mail (80%)
    • Lengthening the window for early voting and allow voters to cast ballots in person up through the day before Election Day (75%)
    • Mailing all registered voters applications to vote-by-mail (72%); and
    • Allowing elections officials to begin processing mail-in ballots before Election Day (69%)

“We conducted this survey to see how voters in Michigan felt about the changing issue environment due to COVID-19,” said Ben Lazarus, pollster at TargetSmart. “This survey specifically shows that Michigan voters are overwhelmingly supportive of vote-by-mail and expect lawmakers to do what they can to ensure it runs safely and smoothly. They also want the priority to be on making sure workers and small businesses are taken care of and corporations aren’t let off the hook for cutting corners.”

The economic and fiscal policy highlights of the poll include:

  • By a three-to-one margin, voters believe Michigan state government should invest more in its residents to ensure they are safe, healthy, and economically secure (58%) rather than state government keeping taxes low and cutting funds to key services like education, unemployment, and health insurance (18%)
  • As for how legislators should address the potential budget shortfalls due to COVID, respondents overwhelmingly favored closing corporate tax loopholes (90%) and increasing taxes and financial penalties on companies that pollute Michigan’s air and water (88%). There is also strong support–77%–for increasing taxes on the wealthiest individuals in Michigan
  • Providing low-interest loans to small businesses to help them make it through the crisis (91%)
  • Limiting what drug companies can charge for prescription drugs (88%)
  • Creating an insurance plan to provide paid family and medical leave for employees (81%)
  • Requiring workplaces to provide paid sick days to their employees (80%)
  • Extending the length of time that laid-off workers can receive unemployment compensation and increasing the amount they receive (55%)

For the full survey results, see here.

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