Florida voters trust local elections, worry about state and national integrity, study finds

by | May 28, 2024

A study conducted by the LeRoy Collins Institute at Florida State University found high voter confidence in local elections in Florida, but concerns about election integrity at the state and national levels persist, with strong support for measures to prevent fraud.

Voter confidence in Florida’s local elections remains high, but concerns about election integrity at the state and national levels persist, according to a study published last week by the LeRoy Collins Institute at Florida State University.

The study found that 95 percent of Florida voters are confident their ballots were counted correctly, with 75 percent expressing strong confidence. Confidence in county-level results is also robust, with 93 percent of voters reporting they are very or somewhat confident.

However, confidence wanes at higher levels of government. At the state level, 56 percent of voters expressed strong confidence in the election results, while another 36 percent were somewhat confident. This leaves 9 percent of voters expressing low confidence in state-level outcomes.

Nationally, just 31 percent of voters are very confident in the accuracy of election results, and 42 percent are not confident at all.

Despite high confidence in personal and local voting processes, significant concerns about election fraud and integrity remain. About 5 percent of respondents reported observing or suspecting incidents such as bribery, voter intimidation, and ballot tampering. Specific concerns include non-citizens voting, which 34 percent of voters believe happens frequently, and voter fraud involving false names and addresses, which 29 percent consider likely.

Actual incidents of such issues appear minimal, with less than 1 percent of voters reporting they witnessed significant problems like machine tampering or ballot stuffing, suggesting that public concerns may be influenced by political rhetoric and media coverage.

The study additionally found strong support for measures aimed at preventing fraud. Nearly 95 percent of voters believe it is crucial to maintain accurate voter rolls, even if some eligible voters need to re-register. Similarly, 90 percent agree that post-election audits are essential to ensure vote accuracy.

There is significant opposition to expanding voting access through reforms like Election Day registration and all-mail elections. Sixty percent of voters oppose same-day registration, citing administrative and fraud concerns. A majority, 79 percent, oppose moving to an all-mail voting system, preferring a mix of in-person and early voting. Moreover, 75 percent of voters are against mandatory voting, indicating a preference for voluntary participation.

When asked to choose between ensuring broad voting access and protecting the system against fraud, 56 percent of voters prioritized security.


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