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Survey finds bipartisan support for election reform measure

David Meyers, The Fulcrum on

Published in Political News

While congressional Republicans remain overwhelmingly, if not unanimously, opposed to the For the People Act, a new survey found strong bipartisan backing for the wide-ranging bill that would set new standards for elections.

The survey — conducted by Data for Progress, a progressive think tank and polling firm, for Vox — found that 69% of Americans strongly or somewhat support the bill when told it would "make it easier to vote, limit the influence of money in politics, and require congressional districts to be drawn by a nonpartisan commission so that no one party has an advantage." That breaks down as 85% of Democrats, 70% of independents and 52% of Republicans. (Note that voter ID and so-called ballot harvesting, among the most partisan elements of election administration, were not mentioned.)

No Republican voted in favor of the bill, also known as HR 1, when Democrats pushed it through the House of Representatives, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans have vowed to block its passage in the Senate. Republicans say the legislation would damage election security while Democrats claim it would make elections more fair.

Pollsters broke the bill down into a handful of its major components to gauge support for individual provisions, some of which were heavily backed by all three political groupings. For example, limiting the influence of money in politics was supported by 86% of Democrats, 87% of independents and 80% of Republicans. Modernizing election infrastructure to increase security had similar numbers (90/83/77), as did preventing foreign interference in elections (85/82/82).

Support for a 15-day early voting period and nonpartisan redistricting commissions both received more than 50% support across all three categories as well.

A handful of other proposals did not crack 50% among Republicans.

 

— Automatic voter registration: 81% Democrats, 59% independents, 44% Republicans.

— Same-day voter registration for eligible voters: 84/49/49.

— A vote-by-mail option for all voters: 84/64/38.

— Restoring voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences: 72/54/39.

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