Politics and the post office: Americans are split right down the middle about voting by mail

By Zlati Meyer

To vote by mail or to not vote by mail. That is the question. And according to a new survey from Harris Poll, Americans are unsure of the answer.

The survey conducted over this past weekend finds that 50% of Americans said the benefits of casting ballots by mail outweigh the risk, while 50% disagree.

“This is likely linked to Americans’ personal experiences: 54% say they have experienced a delay in receiving mail or packages in recent weeks,” Harris says.

The U.S. Postal Service has removed some mail sorters and mailboxes and warned about possible problems with so many people voting by mail, just as a growing number of voters, fearful of catching COVID-19, are planning to avoid polling places on Election Day, November 3. By mailing in their ballots, they don’t have to worry about social distancing and mask wearing among their fellow voters and election officials overseeing those sites.

The poll of 1,967 adults also finds that close to three-quarters of respondents are concerned that changes at the USPS will translate into some votes not being counted. Meanwhile, close to 7 out of 10 Americans support vote-by-mail for the 2020 presidential election.

Forty-nine percent of Republicans give a thumbs-up to the USPS handling the election, versus 54% of Independents, and 74% of Democrats.

Most experts say voting by mail is safe and secure.

 

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