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The Villages

AARP poll shows Floridians have faith in voting by mail

Despite partisan in-fighting over election methods, voting by mail remains the most popular choice of voting methods in the Nov. 3 elections, according to an AARP Florida/Florida Politics poll.

But controversies around voting by mail have led to somewhat fewer Floridians choosing that voting method than in July, the poll showed.

According to the survey, 42 percent of those surveyed said they planned to vote by mail, down from 49 percent in a previous AARP Florida/Florida Politics poll in mid-July.  In the newest poll, 31.6 percent of those surveyed said they would cast their ballots in early voting, while 26.5 percent said they planned to vote on Election Day.

The poll also showed that trust in the integrity of elections in Florida remains high. Some 93.4 percent said they disagreed with the statement that they are less likely to vote because they have lost trust in the elections system.  About 93 percent answered the same question the same way in July.

“However Floridians choose to vote, AARP Florida remains committed to ensuring that voters’ voices are heard in this election,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida.  “It is encouraging to see that voters are staying focused on the integrity of our elections.” 

“This poll reinforces two phenomena: the always-closeness of Florida’s electorate and its strong-willed determination to make sure its vote in that contest counts,” said Peter Schorsch, publisher of Florida Politics. 

By 57.3 percent to 42.7 percent, those surveyed said that President Trump’s claims that voting by mail had not given them concerns about voting by mail.  Two-thirds of those surveyed also said they were not concerned about voting in person because of the coronavirus pandemic, compared to one-third who said they were concerned.

In other findings, the poll showed that Florida voters across all demographics are deeply committed to the long-term solvency of Social Security as a bedrock of financial security. Four of five Floridians surveyed agreed that Social Security’s financial stability was more important to them than cutting payroll taxes for businesses and workers.  President Trump has ordered payroll taxes be deferred until the end of the year. 

Asked to rank five issues in order of those that would be most influential in affecting their votes, 54.3 percent of those surveyed ranked Social Security’s continued solvency as the top issue.  Nearly 15 percent ranked additional stimulus payments as their top issue, one in 10 listed payroll tax relief, nearly 8 percent listed extended unemployment benefits and 5.4 percent listed eviction or foreclosure relief.  Nearly 8 percent were unsure of which issue would affect their vote the most. 

Voter commitment was very high, according to the survey.  Some 96 percent said they were absolutely certain to vote, about 3 percent said they were very likely and only 1 percent said they were somewhat likely to vote.  

The poll surveyed 2,689 registered Florida voters Sept. 7-8, with a 1.9 percent margin of error at 95 percent confidence level. The poll was conducted by St. Pete Polls on behalf of AARP Florida and Florida politics.  The poll sample included 1,039 Democrats, 1,049 Republicans and 805 independents.

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