National: Why don’t more Americans vote? Maybe because they don’t trust U.S. elections. | The Washington Post
The U.S. election has reinforced concerns on all sides about problems of electoral integrity. During the campaign and even after his victory, Trump made claims about widespread voter fraud. Democrats and civil rights organizations accused GOP state houses of suppressing voters’ rights. Journalists criticized fake online stories. Election Day brought complaints about long wait lines and broken voting machines. Perhaps most seriously, the CIA and FBI reported that Russia attempted to influence the U.S. election through cyberattacks. Even before the Putin surprise, however, few Americans trusted the honesty of their elections. A Gallup poll two weeks before Election Day found that only one-third of Americans (35 percent) were “very confident” that their vote would be counted accurately. Even worse, when people around the world were asked how confident they were in the honesty of their elections, Gallup found that this year the United States ranked 90th out of 112 countries. Widespread belief that elections are rigged or stolen may seriously damage democracy. My research for “Why Electoral Integrity Matters” using the World Values Survey showed that when people believe that electoral malpractice is common, they are significantly less likely to vote.