Voter Suppression vs Voter Fraud
There have long been fierce debates on how many votes were suppressed and how many fraudulent votes were cast. Some believe that voter suppression is rampant around the US and that millions of people do not vote because of the barriers presented to them. They believe that we should make voting easier to reduce voter suppression. Others believe that voter fraud is prevalent around the US and that millions of illegal votes are cast and counted. They believe that we should create more voter regulations to reduce voter fraud.
ActiVote conducted a survey to determine what our users thought about voter suppression vs voter fraud. We asked whether it was more important to stop fraudulent votes from being cast, or more important to enable everyone who could legally cast a vote to actually cast one. We provided five options to choose from, which can be summarized as follows:
- Fraud prevention is much more important
- Fraud prevention is somewhat more important
- Fraud prevention and allowing voting equally important
- Loss of legal votes is somewhat more important
- Loss of legal votes is much more important
Just over half of all our users (51%) believe that avoiding fraud and enabling voting are equally important on a vote-by-vote basis. Another 30% believe that enabling voting is more important, while 20% believe that avoiding fraud is more important.
There is a small difference between men and women with women focusing slightly more on enabling the right to vote and less on fraud prevention than men.
Among both Democrats and Republicans, about 50% believe that a vote suppressed and a fraudulent vote cast are equally bad. The difference is among the other half of each party: only 6% of Democrats but 35% of Republicans believe voter fraud is more important than voter suppression on a vote-by-vote basis, while only 10% of Republicans and 45% of Democrats believe that voter suppression is more important than voter fraud on a vote-by-vote basis.
While the outcome explains a difference in focus from both parties on voter fraud vs. voter suppression, it also shows that a majority believes that everyone should have exactly 1 vote in our democracy.