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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

82% of voters from both parties say it is at least somewhat important to know who won the presidential election within a day or two of Election Day, yet only half expressed confidence that this will happen, according to a Pew Research Center study.

Why it matters: The 2020 election is expected to set records for the number of mail-in ballots cast due to the pandemic. Depending on the margins in key swing states, it's possible that the winner of the election will not be known until mail-in ballots are counted.

By the numbers: About twice as many Republicans (50%) are likely to vote in person compared to Democrats (20%).

  • 90% of registered voters expressed confidence that elections in their community will be administered well, but just 62% said the same about the administration of the election in the U.S. as a whole. This is a steep drop from the primaries, in which 81% of voters expected elections in the U.S. to be run and administered well.
  • 76% of Biden supporters are confident that the country will know the clear winner of the election even after all the votes are counted, while a much smaller majority of Trump supporters (55%) are confident that Americans will clearly know who won.
  • While a large majority of Trump (91%) and Biden supporters (70%) are confident that in-person voting places will be run safely, only 17% of Biden supporters are very confident that COVID-19 will not be spread by in-person voting.
  • 51% of Biden supporters say they plan to vote by absentee or mail-in ballot, while only 25% of Trump supporters plan to do the same.
  • Similar percentages of Trump and Biden supporters (20% and 22%, respectively) plan to vote, or have voted, in person before Election Day.
  • Overall, 56% of voters say they are very or somewhat confident that election systems in the U.S. are secure from hacking and other technological threats. That is higher than the share of voters who said the same two years ago (47%).

Methodology: For this analysis, Pew surveyed 11,929 U.S. adults, including 10,543 registered voters, between Sept. 30 and Oct. 5.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

Resurrecting Martin Luther King's office

King points to Selma, Alabama on a map at his Southern Christian Leadership Conference office in Atlanta in January 1965. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Contributor

Efforts to save the office where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., planned some of the most important moments of the civil rights movement are hitting roadblocks amid a political stalemate.

Why it matters: The U.S. Park Service needs to OK agreements so a developer restoring the historic Prince Hall Masonic Lodge in Atlanta — which once housed King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference — can tap into private funding and begin work.

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."