Views on the American Election Process and Perceptions of Voter Fraud

A majority of the public think there is some fraud in American elections, though most have at least some confidence in the final vote count, according to a national survey of 1,022 adults conducted by the AP-NORC Center in September using AmeriSpeak®.

Many Americans have reservations about the integrity of the voting system in this country. Recent computer hacks at major federal agencies, large corporations, and the Democratic National Committee have generated discussion about possible attempts to interfere with the 2016 election results.

In the latest poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, most Americans think there is at least some fraud in elections, and 8 in 10 approve of laws that require voters to show photo identification, legislation with a stated aim of preventing such voter fraud. Those who say election fraud takes place are particularly likely to favor such laws.

Along with these misgivings, only about 4 in 10 Americans have much confidence that the votes in the 2016 presidential election will be counted correctly. However, most people think new technology introduced in the wake of the controversial 2000 presidential election has made vote counts more accurate.

The nationwide poll of 1,022 adults was part of the AmeriSpeak® Omnibus, a monthly multi-client survey using NORC at the University of Chicago’s probability-based panel. Interviews were conducted between September 15 and 18, 2016, online and using landlines and cell phones.

Three Things You Should Know about The AP-NORC Poll on the electoral process and perceptions of voter fraud:
Among All American Adults…

  1. Thirty-five percent say there is a great deal of election fraud in the United States, 39 percent say there is some election fraud, and only 24 percent say there is hardly any.  
  2. Forty-one percent are very concerned and 35 percent are somewhat concerned about how susceptible the country’s election system is to hacking. Just 23 percent express little concern.  
  3. Only 4 in 10 have a lot of confidence that the vote counts will be accurate this year. Three in 10 are moderately confident, and another 3 in 10 have little or no confidence in this year’s vote counts.