Most Americans Back Reforms to Make Voting Easier, Poll Shows

New polling shows that most Americans support easier voting.

Gallup published a Gallup poll on Friday that asked voters about a variety of issues related to voting. By and large, voters said they supported reforms to make the process more accessible — and generally reported opposition to putting more restrictions on the right to vote.

“With the midterm elections less than a month away, large majorities of Americans favor three measures meant to make voting easier,” the polling organization wrote on its website.

Gallup poll revealed that seventy-eight per cent of Americans believe that early voting should continue. Only 22 percent opposed it. Sixty five percent of voters also support automatic voter registration. This means that any person who does business with a state agency will have their voter registration records automatically updated. The poll also found that 60% of voters wanted absentee ballots sent to all eligible voters by state and local agencies.

Conservative voting “reforms” were rejected by most of the poll’s respondents. Only 39 percent of Americans believe that voters should be purged from registration rolls if they don’t vote for five years, versus 60 percent who oppose the idea. Similar to the previous poll, only 39% of Americans believe that there should not be more restrictions on drop boxes or places for absentee voting ballots being mailed, while 59% say they would oppose any further limitations.

Only one restrictive voting measure was supported by the poll. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they backedVoter ID laws require voters to present government-issued photos before they can vote.

Voter ID laws are in place unnecessary burdenon those who are otherwise eligible to vote, but can’t get an ID or face significant hurdles to do so. In a 2018 report, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights noted that voter ID laws “prevent some citizens from voting,” particularly people of color.

Similar assessments have been made by Brennan Center for Justice. “Overly burdensome photo ID requirements block millions of eligible American citizens from voting,” the organization says on its website. “As many as 11 percent of eligible voters do not have the kind of ID that is required by states with strict ID requirements, and that percentage is even higher among seniors, minorities, people with disabilities, low-income voters, and students.”

Many Republicans have privately admitted that the real purpose of voter ID laws — which are billed as a way to preserve the integrity of elections — is to help them win elections by suppressing voting groups that don’t traditionally support the GOP but have difficulty attaining identification.

In 2015 one GOP operative in Wisconsin resigned from his post in disgustAfter hearing his colleagues celebrate passage of the state’s voter ID laws, he was elated. Right-wing lawmakers supported the new laws in private, and not because they protect voters, but because they disenfranchise those who normally vote Democrat.

“I was in the closed Senate Republican Caucus when the final round of multiple Voter ID bills were being discussed,” Todd Allbaugh, a former Republican legislative staffer, said one year after the bills were passed. “A handful of the GOP Senators were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters.”