(Reuters) - Americans across the political spectrum have widespread concerns that November’s U. S. election will be marred by fraud, interference or efforts to suppress the vote, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.
About half of the registered voters in the United States, including some 80% of Republicans surveyed, say they are concerned that an increase in voting by mail will lead to widespread fraud in the Nov. 3 election, the poll showed.
The finding suggests that a wide swath of the country may have trouble accepting the result of the election, which is expected to see a surge in mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic. Republican President Donald Trump is trailing his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, in opinion polls.
It also shows that Republicans are sharply aligned on the issue with Trump, who has been attacking the use of mail-in ballots for months, and on Thursday for the first time raised the idea of delaying the election, which he cannot do.
The poll, taken on Wednesday and Thursday partially before Trump’s tweet, also found broad concerns in both parties about the integrity of the election, with nearly three quarters concerned about voter suppression or possible election interference.
In 2016, U. S. intelligence agencies determined that Russia meddled in the presidential election to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign and sow distrust of American democracy.
The poll found 74% of registered voters were concerned about “organized voter fraud by political actors hoping to sway the results of the elections,” including seven of 10 Democrats and eight of 10 Republicans.
About 73% of registered voters also said they were concerned about “voter suppression,” including eight of 10 Democrats and six of 10 Republicans.
Democrats and voting rights groups say mail-in voting is a way to protect voters from the virus, and that a failure to guarantee that option amid a pandemic will disenfranchise millions of Americans, especially the poor and African Americans who are deemed more vulnerable to the virus and who tend to vote Democratic.
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