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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Voter Fraud a Concern in U.S. but Not Locally

Friday, October 26, 2012

American voters are more concerned about the potential for voter fraud throughout the country than they are in the area where they actually vote, according to the latest Monmouth University Poll .  Just under 1-in-10 voters suspect they have voted in an election that was ultimately decided by fraudulent votes.

Just over a third (36%) of registered voters feel that voter fraud is a major problem in the United States and 33% say it is a minor problem, while 20% report it is not a problem.  Another 12% have no opinion on this issue.  This level of concern drops when voters are asked about fraudulent voting in the area where they live.  Just 10% say it is a major problem locally and 28% say it is a minor problem, while nearly half (45%) say it is not a problem.  Another 17% have no opinion.

Republicans (51%) are more likely than independents (36%) and Democrats (23%) to say that voter fraud is a major problem nationally.  There are fewer partisan differences, though, when asked about voter fraud locally - 15% of Republicans say this is a major problem, compared to 9% of independents and 7% of Democrats.

Interestingly, there is little regional variation in these results.  The percentage who say that voter fraud is a major problem in their own area ranges from 6% to 12% across the different regions of the nation.  Those who consider it either a major or a minor problem is slightly higher in the Southeast (44%), Southwest/Mountain (43%) and Western (38%) regions than it is in the Northeast (32%) or the Midwest (32%).

There is even less variation in this concern when the states are divided according to how competitive they are in this year's presidential race.  Regardless of whether their state is classified as Red or Blue or somewhere in between, from 9% to 11% of registered voters say that voter fraud is a major problem locally.  When major and minor problem are added together, those saying local voter fraud is a problem include 41% of Swing State voters, 40% of Red State voters, 35% of Blue State voters, and 33% of Leaning State voters.

The poll also asked voters whether, to the best of their knowledge, they have ever participated in a state or local election that was decided by the votes of people who were not actually eligible to vote.  Eight percent report that they have.  This includes 11% of independents, 9% of Republicans, and 4% of Democrats.  This result varies very little across the different states based on whether they are classified as Red (7%), Blue (9%), Swing (8%), or Leaning (8%).

The latest Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone with 1,592 registered voters in the United States from October 18 to 21, 2012.  This sample has a margin of error of ±  2.5 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jerse

American voters are more concerned about the potential for voter fraud throughout the country than they are in the area where they actually vote, according to the latest Monmouth University Poll.  Just under 1-in-10 voters suspect they have voted in an election that was ultimately decided by fraudulent votes.

Just over a third (36%) of registered voters feel that voter fraud is a major problem in the United States and 33% say it is a minor problem, while 20% report it is not a problem.  Another 12% have no opinion on this issue.  This level of concern drops when voters are asked about fraudulent voting in the area where they live.  Just 10% say it is a major problem locally and 28% say it is a minor problem, while nearly half (45%) say it is not a problem.  Another 17% have no opinion.

Republicans (51%) are more likely than independents (36%) and Democrats (23%) to say that voter fraud is a major problem nationally.  There are fewer partisan differences, though, when asked about voter fraud locally – 15% of Republicans say this is a major problem, compared to 9% of independents and 7% of Democrats.

Interestingly, there is little regional variation in these results.  The percentage who say that voter fraud is a major problem in their own area ranges from 6% to 12% across the different regions of the nation.  Those who consider it either a major or a minor problem is slightly higher in the Southeast (44%), Southwest/Mountain (43%) and Western (38%) regions than it is in the Northeast (32%) or the Midwest (32%).

There is even less variation in this concern when the states are divided according to how competitive they are in this year’s presidential race.  Regardless of whether their state is classified as Red or Blue or somewhere in between, from 9% to 11% of registered voters say that voter fraud is a major problem locally.  When major and minor problem are added together, those saying local voter fraud is a problem include 41% of Swing State voters, 40% of Red State voters, 35% of Blue State voters, and 33% of Leaning State voters.

The poll also asked voters whether, to the best of their knowledge, they have ever participated in a state or local election that was decided by the votes of people who were not actually eligible to vote.  Eight percent report that they have.  This includes 11% of independents, 9% of Republicans, and 4% of Democrats.  This result varies very little across the different states based on whether they are classified as Red (7%), Blue (9%), Swing (8%), or Leaning (8%).

The latest Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone with 1,592 registered voters in the United States from October 18 to 21, 2012.  This sample has a margin of error of ± 2.5 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey.  

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

1.     How much of a problem is voter fraud in the United States – that is, votes being cast in the name of people who are not eligible to vote?  Is it a major problem, minor problem, or not a problem?

2.     How much of a problem is voter fraud in the area where you live?  Is it a major problem, minor problem, or not a problem?

3.     To the best of your knowledge, has a state or local election that you voted in ever been decided by the votes of people who were not actually eligible to vote in that election, or has this not happened?

 

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 18 to 21, 2012 with a national random sample of 1592 registered voters, including 604 via live interview on a landline telephone, 600 via interactive voice response (IVR) on a landline telephone, and 388 via live interview on a cell phone.  Interviewing services were provided by Braun Research, Inc. (live landline and cell) and Survey USA (IVR and live cell) and the telephone sample was obtained from Survey Sampling International.  Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey questionnaire design, data weighting and analysis.  For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.  Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample.  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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- Monmouth University Polling Institute