Washington, DC – A national poll conducted in April by Morning Consult and the Bipartisan Policy Center found that voters were overwhelmingly satisfied with their voting options in the 2020 election. Voters also ranked in-person voting on Election Day as their most preferred voting option, with voting preferences varying by political party, race, and region.
“We know that most voters were satisfied with their options in 2020, but elections remain vastly under resourced,” said Matthew Weil, director of BPC’s Elections Project. “Our most recent analysis gives election officials the tools they need to efficiently distribute limited resources without restricting voters’ access to the ballot.”
The pandemic-inspired vote-by-mail expansion helped more voters engage in the voting process than ever before, but the survey shows that many voters still want to vote in person. BPC’s analysis helps election officials manage hard resource trade-offs when preparing to effectively run three elections simultaneously (mail, early, and Election Day).
Taking these steps to prepare now is critical to bolstering confidence in American elections.
Key findings from the BPC/Morning Consult survey include:
- Eight in 10 voters (80%) report they were satisfied with their voting options in 2020 and more than half (55%) report they were very satisfied.
- When asked to rank most preferred method of voting, a plurality of voters prefer voting in-person on Election Day (39%), followed closely by early voting in-person (37%) as a second choice.
- Voting preferences vary between party lines, race, and region. Republican voters prefer voting in-person on Election Day (51%) more than other methods of voting, while Democrats are divided between mail in absentee vote (31%) and in-person voting on Election Day (31%). Preferences also varied by race and region.
- Voters generally believe that responsibility for election policies should be shared between state and federal governments. Democrats favor federal over state government involvement when it comes to setting and enforcing election laws, while Republicans favor the opposite.
This poll was conducted between April 15-19, 2021, among a sample of 1,974 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online, and the data was weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on gender, age, educational attainment, race, marital status, home ownership, race, educational attainment, 2016 presidential vote, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
View the Morning Consult Voter Satisfaction & Preferences in 2020 Poll Analysis.
View BPC’s follow up report, How Data Can Solve the Elections Resource Allocation Problem.