Views on Election Integrity in 2020-22: GOP & Trump Voters

November 2021 3 min read

The 2020 general election was the most secure in American history. Almost 95% of all ballots were cast on auditable paper, up from less than 80% in 2016, including all ballots in every swing state. States across the country conducted more legitimate audits of those ballots than ever before. More pre-election litigation clarified the rules, and more post-election litigation confirmed the results, than ever before. Despite these efforts, disinformation about the election spread, and many voters—particularly those who voted for former President Trump—do not trust the results. To better understand how these voters perceive the aftermath of the 2020 election and the state of election integrity, the Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR) partnered with Echelon Insights to survey voters across the country (N=1600). Below, we summarize our key findings about Republicans (GOP) and people who voted for former President Trump (n=781).

Key Findings

  • GOP voters lack trust and confidence in elections at much higher rates than others—a finding that is consistent with the results of other recent national polls.[1]
  • GOP and Trump voters have more confidence in their own local and state elections than those at the national level.
  • Messaging that creates an expectation of so-called “forensic audits” may have negative impacts for the GOP: four times as many GOP and Trump voters say they are less likely to vote in 2022 if no forensic audits are conducted than if audits are conducted in their state or in all states.

Lack of Confidence in Election Results

The majority of GOP and Trump voters lack confidence in the accuracy of the 2020 election results and in the upcoming 2022 midterms. This finding is consistent with other recent national polls.

  • Less than one-third of GOP and Trump voters (32%) are confident that votes across the U.S. were counted accurately in 2020. Confidence remains low going into 2022 at 38%. Self-identified Democrats (87%) and independents (62%) are much more confident about 2022.

Forty-seven percent of GOP and Trump voters are not confident that the candidates receiving the most votes in 2020 were properly certified as the winners.

  • Trust in local elections is high but wanes as the jurisdiction gets bigger: 75% of GOP and Trump voters believe the 2020 elections were run very or somewhat well in their community; that drops to 61% in their state and 32% at the national level.
  • Confidence in the administration of elections at the state level is notably lower among GOP and Trump voters in states where election denial messages have been particularly strong, including Arizona (46%), Pennsylvania (40%), and Georgia (52%), than among the national sample (61%).

Misperceptions About Voting and Election Fraud

Many GOP and Trump voters believe that voter and election fraud were widespread in 2020 and will be widespread in 2022. Even a year out, after audits in nearly every battleground state and after over 80 judges heard challenges, there remains zero evidence of any widespread fraud in the 2020 election. 

  • Nearly half (48%) of GOP and Trump voters believe there were widespread occurrences of election officials deliberately miscounting votes in the United States in the 2020 election, compared to just 10% of Democrats and 25% of independents.
  • Forty-six percent of GOP and Trump voters said that election officials intentionally miscounting votes will be a problem in 2022. This is even higher than the proportion (36%) who think officials accidentally miscounting votes will be a problem.

“Full Forensic Audits”

GOP and Trump voters strongly support “full forensic audits.” Though this term is not defined, and most every battleground state already fully audited the 2020 election and confirmed the results under state law, the false expectation that a “forensic audit” will overturn certified results persists. Given that these partisan election reviews have not found any evidence of fraud, and it is highly unlikely that a significant number of additional states will undertake these costly and unnecessary efforts, this expectation may have substantial negative impacts on GOP voter turnout.

  • Sixty percent of GOP and Trump voters support “full forensic audits” in every state to reexamine the 2020 election results, and a plurality (47%­) support these forensic audits in only the states that Biden won.
  • Among GOP and Trump voters, 16% say they are less likely to vote in 2022 if no forensic audits are conducted. That’s four times the number who say they are less likely to vote if forensic audits are conducted in their state or in all states.
About the Poll

The poll was conducted online from October 20-26, 2021. It surveyed 1,600 registered voters nationally with oversamples of 150 voters in three 2020 battleground states (AZ, GA, and PA) and one state conducting a competitive off-year gubernatorial election (VA). This poll has a total sampling error of +/-3.4683%.

Click here to learn more about how we defined our universes for this report and to download the crosstabs.

[1] Morning Consult and Politico National Tracking Poll, conducted Oct. 22-24, 2021; NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll, conducted Oct. 18-22, 2021.

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