Poll: Most Americans favor early voting, automatic registration, photo I.D. laws

A voter casts her ballot at a polling station in DelRay Beach, Fla., in the state's primary on March 15. A new Gallup poll showed that the majority of Americans support early voting, which has expanded dramatically in recent years. File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) — Four out of five Americans approve of laws allowing voters to cast ballots early and mandating photo identification at the polls, a new survey from Gallup research shows.

According to the new poll, 80 percent of those questioned said they favor the ability to vote early and laws that require voters to prove their identity before they head into the booth.

On the issue of voter identification, 95 percent of Republicans polled favored the law — compared with just 63 percent of Democrats. The GOP has traditionally been more supportive of voter ID laws, claiming they prevent voter fraud. Some Democrats, though, oppose them and argue that they discourage some minority voters from participating.

On early voting, 85 percent of Democrats said they support it, in contrast to just 74 percent of GOP respondents. Analysts believe that’s the case because, among other reasons, early voting is most popular among minority and lower income citizens.

According to the survey, 80 percent of Democrats favor automatic voter registration, compared with only a slight majority — 51 percent — of Republicans.

Automatic voter registration has been implemented in five states — California, Connecticut, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia — and is a part of the Democratic Party’s official 2016 presidential campaign platform.

For the poll, Gallup surveyed about 1,000 adults in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., between Aug. 15-16. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.


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