Voters Overwhelmingly Support Federal Election Reform

Election 2012 was a punishing ordeal, and few were hit harder than the American voter. Millions of us spent Election Day grappling with arcane voter ID regulations, beating back ballot bullies, and waiting in long lines to vote.

So it’s not surprising that a new national poll has found that more Americans than ever agree that it’s time to take a second look at our election laws. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said that they’d support national standards establishing who can vote, polling hours, ballot design, and more; 50% said they’d be very supportive of these measures.

More importantly, the consensus behind these reforms is broad, diverse, and bipartisan. Democrats, Republicans, and independents agree, by huge margins, that we sorely need federal election reform. Support is strong among all races, at every income level, and in every region of the country.

The survey found that despite state officials’ efforts to curtail the practice, over a third of voters took advantage of early voting hours in their precincts; early voting was especially popular among older and African-American voters. If these voters had had to wait until Election Day, the long lines we saw would have been a lot longer.

Americans also are far more concerned with making sure eligible voters aren’t disenfranchised (64%)  than they are about preventing illegitimate votes from being cast (36%). Those results contradict partisan claims that voter fraud is a pressing public issue.

We can’t afford another election like 2012, where a patchwork of confusing and contradictory state regulations leads to a nightmare in November. After all, Election Day is the one day we’re all equal, which is why protecting every American’s right to cast a ballot in a fair, transparent, and accessible process is some of the most important work we do at Common Cause.

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