(CW44 News At 10) – CW44 News At 10 reported part 1 on Monday that researchers at USF released new findings from a statewide presidential election survey. In part two, we digging deeper into some of the concerns voters have shared and what that data means.
Among the different concerns voters have voiced during this election are lack of fairness and voter fraud across the united states. More specifically having to do with the vote-by-mail system after current elected officials have pointed to the system as being corrupt. “It is a safe option. There are safeguards in place to make sure that votes are counted; votes are counted accurately and fairly,” said Joshua Scacco, Associate Professor of Political Communication, USF. “There’s simply just no evidence of widespread, massive orchestrated voter fraud,” said Brian Corley, Supervisor of Elections for Pasco County.
A survey was conducted and released Tuesday by researchers at the University of South Florida on the 2020 presidential election. Of the 600 Florida residents who responded to the survey, 1/3, or 29%, stated they were either “not very confident” or “not at all confident” that this election would be conducted fairly.
CW44’s Andrea Alvarez sat down with Professor Scacco who was one of three researchers behind that data to talk about those opinions being formed based on this election. “Even as some candidates denigrate mail balloting, their political parties that they’re affiliated with are still telling their supporters to vote by mail ballot,” said Scacco. “For example, the President of the United States has voted by mail ballot in Florida, as well as a number of members of his administration have also voted by mail ballot. So, this is one of those instances where words matter, and what the words are doing is they’re potentially impacting faith that individuals have in the election process,” said Scacco.
When asked if there have ever been issues in Pasco County with voter fraud, Corley replied, “In my 14 year tenure, there’s been less than a handful, but again, one is too many, certainly.” He elaborated there is no evidence to show that those cases were widespread enough to impact the outcome of the presidential race. “The documented cases tend to be very, very small in scale and they’re individual, actually. They’re not calculated to alter outcomes,” said Corley.
While we don’t get a look at practices helping to prevent voter fraud which Corley says, “could reveal some of our methods and sources, of course,” he reassured CW44 that the process works. Scacco also says the bottom line is that practices are in place and they’re working. He describes, “We see isolated instances where some campaigns have broken state laws. The key component is, we know about those because – they’ve been discovered – because the system has worked.”
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