Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis
Florida voters believe in the integrity of their local elections. But as government units rise, they worry about voter fraud and accuracy. AFP

Florida voters trust local elections and their confidence in the integrity of such races remains high. However, major concerns rise among the electorate when dealing with state and national contests, according to a study recently published by the LeRoy Collins Institute at Florida State University.

The results come from the semiannual Florida Election Study (FES) as well as a variety of other surveys conducted by Florida State University, which seek to examine and assess the quality of elections by looking at the experiences, confidence and satisfaction of voters through a public opinion survey. For this study, polls were held after the 2022 midterm election between November 11, 2022 and February 9, 2023.

Regarding their voting experience at the local level, the majority of respondents were satisfied, with 67% rating their participation as "excellent" while 30% said it was "good." Other types of voters had even more favorable experiences, with 81% of early voters and 74% of Election day voters saying their experience was "excellent."

When it comes to voter confidence, the study found that 95% of Florida voters rest assured their ballots were counted correctly, with 75% expressing strong confidence. Similarly, at the county level, voter confidence remained high, with 93% of voters reporting they are very or somewhat confident. Only 5% of voters were not too confident or not at all confident that their ballot was counted correctly.

Similarly, a majority of voters (55%) indicated they were very confident of state-level results, and 36% were somewhat confident. The remaining were not too (7%) or not at all (2%) confident.

Voters were least confident of nationwide results, with fewer than 1 in 3 voters (31%) indicating they were very confident and 37% reporting feeling somewhat confident about them. More than 4 in 10 (42%) indicated they are not too (23%) or not at all confident (19%).

In that context, About 5% of respondents reported observing or suspecting incidents such as bribery, voter intimidation, and ballot tampering. Specific concerns include non-citizen voting, which 34% of voters believe happens frequently, and voter fraud involving false names and addresses, which 29% consider likely.

Actual incidents of such issues are minimal, with less than 1% of voters reporting they witnessed significant problems like machine tapering or ballot stuffing, suggesting that public concerns may be influenced by political rhetoric and media coverage.

At the same time, estimates of non-citizen voting are exceedingly low; a nationwide survey found the number of noncitizens suspected to have voted in the 2016 election was about 30.

Former president and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has made voter fraud a key part of his campaign ahead of the 2024 elections, as well as his previous campaigns. Some of his supporters are also backing these claims, despite reports repeatedly showing them to be baseless.

"There is currently an unprecedented and a clear and present danger to the integrity of our election system— and that is the threat of noncitizens and illegal aliens voting in our elections," House Speaker Mike Johnson warned during a news conference on the steps of the Capitol this month.

He also admitted that he had no evidence to support that assertion.

"We all know, intuitively, that a lot of illegals are voting in federal elections, but it's not been something that is easily provable," Johnson said. "We don't have that number."

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.