Politics

Half of registered voters expect to have some difficulty voting, according to the Pew Research Center

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Here's how the U.S. is keeping votes and election results safe and secure
Key Points
  • President Donald Trump has made a series of false statements, claiming mail-in voting is rife with fraud and encouraging supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully.”
  • While most experts agree voter fraud on a national scale is unlikely, a bigger concern for the 2020 elections, according to analysts, is voter intimidation.
  • According to a Pew Research Center poll taken ahead of the November 2020 election, 43% of Republicans thought voter fraud was a "major problem" with mail-in ballots in past presidential elections, compared with 11% of Democrats.

In an era of deep political divide, half of registered voters in the U.S. said they expect to have difficulty casting their ballot in the 2020 election, according to a Pew Research Center poll. 

With early voting already underway, President Donald Trump has made a series of false statements, claiming mail-in voting is rife with fraud and encouraging supporters to "go into the polls and watch very carefully."

But according to analysts, voter fraud on a national level in the U.S., either with mail-in ballots or at the polls, is extremely rare.

"The United States election system is actually very safe," said Rachael Cobb, an associate professor and the chair of political science and legal studies at Suffolk University. "There are areas where we might want to do a little better, but the general, overall view of American elections is safe."

Covid-19 and social distancing have only added to the complexities of voting, with millions expected to vote by mail for the first time and all but about a half-dozen states allowing some type of early in-person voting.

So with fears of voter intimidation, outdated election machines and mail-in ballot fraud, just how secure are American elections and what safeguards are in place to protect the results?

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