DATE: October 19, 2020
CONTACT: Amy Dowell | Amy@dfer.org
Connecticut Voters Have Mixed Feelings On Vote By Mail
Majority Still Plan To Vote In Person, but Record Numbers Will Vote Absentee
October 19, 2020 — A new Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by Education Reform Now Advocacy CT finds that Connecticut voters are split on whether they believe voting by mail or absentee ballot is as secure as in-person voting, with the majority of voters still planning to do so in person on Election Day this Nov. 3.
According to the survey, which was conducted on Oct. 14 and 15, 77% of voters had not yet voted, and 84% of that group said they plan to vote in person. Despite significant evidence that voting by mail is secure, many voters still express concerns about both the security of voting absentee and by mail. Only about half of all voters — 49% — say they trust the security of absentee ballots and vote by mail as much as in-person voting, while 43% say they do not.
Connecticut passed laws earlier this year to make it easier for people concerned about COVID-19 to vote, including allowing for “no excuse” absentee ballot voting. Importantly, a vast majority of voters — 84% — say they are aware of their new options for voting.
A majority of Connecticut voters would like to see expanded access to voting, with 61% saying the state should pass a law allowing for early voting in-person. Currently, Connecticut is one of only six states nationally to not offer any form of early in-person voting for all elections.
“These numbers show that, while Connecticut will certainly see a large increase this year in voting by mail and absentee ballot, many of our voters remain unnecessarily skeptical about these tools—enthusiasm is high and Connecticut will have lots of people at the polls on Election Day,” said Amy Dowell, State Director of Education Reform Now Advocacy CT. “The good news is that Connecticut voters are aware of their new options for voting safely and securely during COVID, and most voters would like to see the state expand access to offer in-person early voting on a permanent basis, like the majority of other states.”
Other key findings include:
- 33% of voters said they would not vote by mail under any circumstances, while an additional 25% said they would prefer not to vote by mail, but would consider it.
- Only 11% of voters said they would prefer to vote by mail.
- Asked to rank the most important issues for them when choosing a candidate, 37% of voters said “jobs and the economy” was most important, while 27% chose “responding to COVID-19” and 10% chose “lowering healthcare costs.”
A memo from Public Policy Polling with survey results can be found here.
About Education Reform Now Advocacy CT
Education Reform Now Advocacy CT is the 501(c)(4) nonprofit affiliate of Education Reform Now CT, that seeks to elect leaders who will support policies that benefit all students—particularly Black and Latino students. ERNA’s advocacy group supports ERN CT’s legislative advocacy work.