Results from surveys and voter data show that voter turnout is at an all time high, and that vote by mail has made a large impact in the ways that Americans are casting their ballots.
In the 2022 midterm elections, 35 percent of voters voted by mail in or absentee, compared to 25 percent in the last midterms in 2018 and and 16 percent in the 2014 midterms, according to data from Pew Research. Pew surveyed 11,377 people from Nov. 16 to Nov. 27, 2022, with a sampling error of plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.
The numbers are even more pronounced in presidential election years with 46 percent voting by mail in 2020, compared to 18 percent in 2016, Pew data from previous years show.
Those mail-in votes helped boost voter turnout overall to record levels.
Voter turnout for the 2022 midterms was 46.8 percent, slightly lower than the 50 percent turnout in the 2018 midterms, but far higher than any other turnout in the last 50 years, according to data from the U.S. Elections Project.
The last time midterms turnout was higher was in 1970 at 47.3 percent.
Whether they voted in-person or by mail, the number of people who said they voted on election day fell from 85 percent in the 2002 midterms to 44 percent in 2022, Pew Research found.
While some MAGA Republicans still discredit election results, an overwhelming majority – 88 percent – of people are confident that their vote was accurately counted, Pew found.
When it comes to mail-in and absentee voting, 62 percent were confident in the vote, while 36 percent were not confident.
PARTISANSHIP STILL APPARENT
Despite overall confidence in the election counting there’s a big gap between how Republican and Democratic voters viewed election administration with 96 percent of Democratic voters saying the election was run “very well” or “somewhat well”, Pew found.
Meanwhile only 53 percent of Republicans felt the same way.
This is likely the impact of the very partisan rhetoric over the last few years surrounding elections. In 2020, 94 percent of Biden voters said the election was run well compared to 21 percent of Trump voters who said this.
Compare this to the 2018 midterms where nearly the same 78 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Democrats – nearly the same percentage – said the election was run well.
A GROWING PESSIMISM
Pew’s recent survey results found that nearly a third of people feel Biden will be unsuccessful in getting programs passed, while 33 percent said he would be successful.
The results are nearly the same as those who responded in 2018 about Trump when he was president.
Even more strikingly, public views on Congressional leaders has grown increasingly pessimistic over time.
A view of Pew’s survey from 1994-2022 shows an increasingly larger number of people who say leaders will be unsuccessful and a drop in the number of people who say they will be successful.