Most early voters say the process was easy

Linley SandersData Journalist
October 24, 2020, 1:00 PM UTC

Early voting for the general election is continuing at a record pace, with more than 50 million Americans having already cast their ballot according to the US Elections Project. 

The latest Economist/YouGov Poll indicates that most early voters are finding the process to be easy, especially when voting by mail. Nearly nine in 10 (87%) registered voters who already voted by mail found the process easy. Another one in 12 voters (8%) say that even if the process was not easy in their state, it was convenient. Just one in 20 (5%) say voting by mail was inconvenient or difficult. 

Three-quarters (76%) of registered voters who already voted early in-person also describe the task as easy. Another one in 11 (9%) considered it convenient, but not particularly easy. Just 15% have found early voting in-person to be inconvenient or difficult.  

Those registered voters who plan to cast their ballot before November 3, but have not yet done so, are noticeably less likely to describe the process as easy. This stands to reason: those people finding the process more difficult could be delayed in their participation. 

While 87% of those who have already voted by mail say the experience was easy, this falls to 66% of those planning to vote by mail. Close to one in five (18%) describe the process as inconvenient or difficult. Similarly, while 76% of those who have already voted in-person say the experience was easy, only a bare majority (55%) of those planning to do feel the same way. One in five (22%) consider the process inconvenient or difficult. 

Democrats (56%) are more likely than Republicans (25%) to plan on voting by mail, but the groups are similarly likely (24% vs 45%) to choose in-person early voting as their method for casting a ballot.  

2020 Election: The Presidency

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll 

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 registered voters interviewed online between October 18 - 20, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.9% for the overall sample.

Image: Getty