Paging Mitch McConnell: Majority of Americans want more election security
Who's concerned about election security? The majority of Americans.
According to a new poll by the Brookings Institution, a majority of Americans support both additional funding and more technical assistance to help states protect against interference in the 2020 presidential election.
Perhaps the survey results and growing pressure from his own party will move Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to stop blocking legislation that would bolster election security.
The Brookings Institution poll of 2,000 adults conducted in early August found that 58 percent supported additional funding for election security and 60 percent endorsed more technical assistance to help states upgrade their election infrastructure to combat interference.
Only 19 percent opposed more funding and 23 percent opposed more assistance. About a quarter of those surveyed were "unsure" of either proposal, according to the survey.
Congress approved $380 million in election security grant funding to the states last year, but state officials have said the funds don't go far enough to protect all voting systems against cyberattacks.
The poll did find mixed results over concerns about foreign interference in elections and whether state officials were doing enough to protect the integrity of the ballot box.
Among those surveyed, 34 percent said foreign interference was "very much" a threat to American democracy versus 26 percent who said it was "not very much" of a threat.
On whether their state election officials were doing enough to safeguard voting machines, 32 percent said yes and 29 percent said no, with the majority (39 percent) saying they were unsure.
Nearly twice as many survey participants (29 percent) believed Democrats were doing more to fight foreign interference than Republicans (16 percent). The Democratic-led House of Representatives has passed election security legislation, and there are a number of bipartisan bills that have been introduced in the Senate. But McConnell has refused to allow a vote on any of them.
Over a quarter of those surveyed also said concerns about foreign interference will make them more likely to vote; only 3 percent said it will make them less likely.
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Neal is federal government affairs manager at R Street Institute, a nonpartisan and pro-free-market public policy research organization.
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