All votes must be counted, even if it delays election result, say voters

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
November 02, 2020, 9:00 PM UTC

With the coronavirus crisis having prompted record levels of postal voting, there is a very real possibility this year that the result of the election will not be known by the next day, with many mail-in ballots still to be counted in the coming days and weeks.

That does not perturb seven in ten voters, according to the final Yahoo News / YouGov survey before the election. When asked which is more important, 72% say taking the time to count all ballots is more important rather than rushing the outcome of the election (29%). 

While nearly all Joe Biden supporters (95%) think taking the time to count ballots is more important, the case is more complicated among supporters of Donald Trump. More than half of Trump supporters say determining the outcome of the election quickly even if a share of mail-in ballots have not been counted is more important (57%). Even still, 43% of Trump supporters still prefer to count all mail ballots even if the process drags.
Last week, President Trump voiced that the election should end on November 3rd and not weeks later. Fewer than a quarter of voters say a final election result must come on Election Day (23%). Instead, most say every vote should be counted even if an outcome comes after Tuesday (68%). The topic has divided the President’s own supporters, with 44% say a final result must come on Election Day and 42% saying a result can come afterwards as long as every vote is counted.

The results of the survey show that 69% of voters are “very” or “somewhat” worried that legitimate mail ballots will not be counted at this election. Around half (53%) are also worried that fraudulent postal voting will take place.

Set against one another, however, voters are more concerned that valid mail ballots not being counted will represent a more serious problem after election day (52%) than fraudulent mail ballots being counted (34%).
Trump and Biden supporters have different priorities, however. While 83% of Biden voters are more concerned that all votes won’t be counted, most Trump voters (69%) are more concerned about fraudulent votes.

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week's Yahoo News/YouGov Poll 

Methodology: The Yahoo News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,501 registered U.S. voters interviewed online from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 president vote, registration status, geographic region and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S registered voters. The margin of error is approximately 2.9 percent. 

Image: Getty