Voting Experiences, Perceptions of Fraud, and Voter ConfidenceWorking Paper No.: 139
Date Published: 2020-07-13
R. Michael Alvarez, California Institute of Technology
Jian Cao, California Institute of Technology
Yimeng Li, California Institute of Technology
Assuring voter conﬁdence is important for the legitimacy of democratic elections. In this paper we take advantage of a large online survey of registered voters in a single election jurisdiction, Orange County (CA), that was implemented immediately after the November 2018 midterm elections, to test four hypotheses about the correlates of voter conﬁdence. Our results show that voters who cast mail ballots are less conﬁdent about their own votes being counted correctly than in-person voters. For both types of voters, those who have poor experiences with the voting process are much less likely to report conﬁdence in the election. We also ﬁnd that voters who have strong concerns about election fraud are less likely to report being conﬁdent in the election. Our last result indicates that information from news and social media is associated with a decline in voter conﬁdence in election administration at the national level. Given the many conversations about election fraud that have occurred since the 2016 presidential election, we conclude by discussing the implications of our results for future elections in the United States.