August 6, 2020

New Polling Reveals Voters Overwhelmingly Support Vote-By-Mail, Want State Action


Thursday, August 6, 2020


Katy Fleury, SiX National Communications Director



New Polling Reveals Voters Overwhelmingly Support Vote-By-Mail, Want State Action

At the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, voters still believe in its core ideals and that government should act to reduce barriers that keep Black people from voting

At the 55th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), voters recognize the threat to voting that the COVID-19 pandemic presents for the 2020 election. While conservative leaders continue to obstruct and reverse progress to make voting safe and accessible, voters overwhelmingly support the ideals of the landmark 1965 VRA.

Recent polling commissioned by the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) and conducted by TargetSmart in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin shows an electorate that is concerned about the November election and supportive of commonsense steps to make voting safe and accessible.

Voters Concerned About Pandemic’s Impact on Voting in 2020

Voters in the ten states express significant concerns about voting during the pandemic. Nearly 6-in-10 voters express concerns about the outbreak preventing citizens from voting in this year’s elections (59 percent) and a similar proportion of voters also express concerns about election administration problems like long lines (56 percent). These concerns are much more profound among voters of color, as 81 percent of Black voters and 73 percent of Latinx voters express concerns about the pandemic preventing citizens from voting, and 81 percent of Black voters and 67 percent of Latinx voters express election administration concerns.

Voters Want State Government to Remove Racial Barriers to Voting

Nearly 7-in-10 voters across the target states also indicate that they believe state government should play an active role in acknowledging and addressing systemic racism (68 percent). Accordingly, roughly two-thirds of voters across these target states believe their state government should reduce barriers that stop Black people from voting (65 percent).

Vote-By-Mail Laws Very Popular, Even in States Without No Excuse Absentee Voting

Voters across the target states are broadly open to expanding vote-by-mail. Over 3-in-4 voters in the target states support allowing any registered voter in their state to vote by mail (76 percent) and roughly 3-in-5 voters support mailing all registered voters in their state an application to vote by mail (62 percent).

Full memo with state-level data here.

TargetSmart designed and administered this multimodal survey. 3,594 interviews were conducted online among panelists who were matched to the TargetSmart voter file; 1,864 interviews were conducted online using text-to-web and email-to-web (422 emails, 1,442 SMS) solicits from the TargetSmart voter file (1,825 weighted), and 300 interviews (379 weighted) were conducted via live phone calls (261 wireless, 39 landlines). In total, the survey reached 5,758 adults (5,528 weighted), age 18 or older, who are registered to vote in one of the ten target states identified by State Innovation Exchange. The credibility interval (the theoretical margin of error for a blended-methodology poll that relies partially on telephone-based probability sampling, and partially on non-probability based online panel sampling) is +/- 1.3%.


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.

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