By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — In the wake of prolonged midterm election ballot counts, a majority of American voters say they don’t have full trust in U.S. elections, according to a new poll by Convention of States Action.
The poll of 1,084 likely voters, conducted Nov. 16-20 by national pollster The Trafalgar Group, finds nearly 57 percent don’t fully trust that America’s elections are fair and accurate. Another 43 percent of respondents say they strongly trust the fairness and accuracy of America’s elections. Nearly 22 percent strongly distrust U.S. elections.
“Free and fair elections have been the bedrock of stability in our nation, and an example around the world. We are now at a very precipitous place in our history. The majority of Americans are now skeptical about the outcomes of elections, which creates a fundamental problem that—if left unchecked—could undermine our entire democracy,” said Mark Meckler, president of the Convention of States.
Meanwhile, nearly 55 percent of American voters say they are less likely to trust election results that take days or weeks to tabulate, according to the poll.
Three weeks after the Nov. 8 midterms, two U.S. House races in California and Colorado remain unsettled — apparently too close to call. It took more than a week to determine that Republicans had narrowly taken back control of the House.
The “toss-up” race to win California’s 13th Congressional District features Republican John Duarte, who holds a razor-thin lead over Democratic Assemblyman Adam Gray. The race is separated by about 600 votes, with approximately 99 percent of votes counted.
As Fox News reports, California accepts mail ballots for the week following Election Day, although ballots had to have been postmarked by Nov. 8.
“California is a predominately vote-by-mail state, and every registered voter is automatically mailed a ballot 29 days prior to Election Day. With 22 million registered voters and weeks-long processing times, this means race calls can move very slowly in the Golden State.”
Such delays aren’t instilling confidence in voters.
Voters were warned before the election to “be patient” because the counting could take a while. In a society of smartphones and private space travel, such delays are hard to fathom and raise some serious questions.
Critics have called for changes. But Meckler said the answers don’t lie in Washington, D.C. The problem, he said, can and must be fixed close to home.
“State legislatures need to make strengthening election integrity priority number one, and governors need to focus on vigorous enforcement,” Meckler said. “Until we get the problem under control, this needs to be treated as the state-by-state emergency that it is.”
Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 30, 2022