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

Poll: Majority of Americans ready to accept the election result

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A majority of Americans say they will accept the U.S. election result, even if the candidate they support loses, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows.

Why it matters: There are heightened concerns of post-election violence this year, prompting officials in some cities and states to take unusual measures to prepare.

Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 9 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 58.6 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 9 days left until Election Day, according to an AP tally.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Twitter launches warnings on election misinformation and delays

Photo: courtesy of Twitter

Twitter will start pinning notices to the top of all U.S. Twitter users’ timelines warning that results in next week’s election may be delayed and that they may encounter misinformation on mail-in voting.

Why it matters: Delayed election results are expected across many states that are handling unprecedented amounts of absentee and mailed ballots, which President Trump has baselessly called "very dangerous" and "corrupt."