Polls Demonstrate Knowledge Gap Regarding Election Management

Surveys in eight states—California, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas —found that, the majority of the public does not know which state office manages elections, a gap in knowledge that may limit voters’ ability to find the information they need.

  • North Carolina had the highest rate of correct answers—33 percent of respondents knew that elections are run by a state board—and the lowest rate of incorrect answers—12 percent.
  • Pennsylvania had the lowest rate of correct answers—2 percent of respondents knew that the secretary of state runs their elections.
  • Ohio had the highest rate of incorrect answers—42 percent named an office other than the secretary of state, such as the governor or a state board.
  • The percentage of respondents who didn’t attempt a guess and admitted that they did not know the answer ranged from 50 percent in Ohio to 78 percent in Texas.

These findings have important implications for the way people search for election information.

  • Just 14 percent of Pennsylvania respondents said they would definitely visit the secretary of the commonwealth’s website when looking for election information online.
  • By contrast, 59 percent of North Carolina respondents said they would visit the State Board of Elections website for information.

Election Day is almost here. Learn more about our new and free tools that make voting information more accessible.

And follow us on Twitter using #electiondata and get the latest data dispatches, research, and news by subscribing today.

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