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Poll: 84% express some level of confidence in N.H. elections, but partisan split exists

picture inside polling place
NHPR staff

Asked if they had confidence in the 2020 election, 84% of respondents in the latest Granite State Poll said they were “very” or “somewhat” confident the election was accurately counted in the state.

But a partisan split exists: among self-described Republicans, 69% said they were “very” or “somewhat” confident compared to 100% of Democrats and 83% of independents.

The poll, released Tuesday by the UNH Survey Center, found similar levels of voter confidence in the upcoming 2022 elections, with 79% expressing some level of confidence the tallies would be accurate.

The Granite State Poll aligns with some national polls that have found that Republican voters are more likely than Democrats to lack faith in the electoral process, including an NPR/PBS/Marris poll that found that more than two-thirds of supporters of former President Donald Trump said they didn’t have trust in the system.

New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan has cited a drop in confidence in election integrity as inspiration for his newly formed Commission on Voter Confidence, which is hosting public events this summer explaining how local officials conduct elections, and what safeguards are in place.

Republican lawmakers also pointed to voter confidence when they passed a new law that requires first-time voters who don’t bring proper identification or other documents to the polls to use affidavit ballots. Those could then be tracked and erased from vote totals, if those voters don’t later provide proof of their eligibility to cast a ballot. That law is facing two separate lawsuits, with voting rights groups and Democrats arguing it will suppress legitimate votes, and doesn’t impact confidence in elections.

The Granite State Poll also found that despite misinformation spread by Trump regarding instances of fraud, respondents to the survey have grown more confident in New Hampshire elections during the past five years. In 2017, 33% of respondents cited voter fraud as a “very” or “somewhat” serious issue in New Hampshire. In 2020, that number fell to 21%, and stands at 22% in the most recent report.

The survey also looked at faith in election counting devices, known as optical scanners, which have been the subject of ballot initiativesand legislation this year. Some activists who tout conspiracy theories have falsely claimed New Hampshire’s AccuVote machines, the only approved counting device, have been hacked or otherwise meddled with.

In the poll, 69% of respondents voiced confidence in the machines, with Democrats expressing more faith in the machines than Republicans.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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