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Poll: Support for mail voting in PA has dropped, but most voters still confident their ballot is being counted

A hand holding an official mail-in ballot on top of a pile of other ballots.
Matt Rourke
Associated Press

Mail-in voting continues to be a popular — and polarizing — way to vote in Pennsylvania’s elections.

While fewer voters support mail-in voting than when it was first used in Pennsylvania in 2020, most voters are still confident their ballots will be counted correctly, according to a recent Franklin and Marshall College Poll.

The legislation that ushered in no-excuse mail-in voting and other changes in Pennsylvania passed with bipartisan support. Berwood Yost, director of the Center for Opinion Research and the Floyd Institute for Public Policy at Franklin and Marshall College, said most people thought the changes were good. That shifted with the 2020 election.

“When you have post-election, a constant drumbeat of commentary suggesting that the election was not conducted fairly, that the counting wasn't done correctly, it's going to erode trust and confidence in that process," said Yost, who directs the Franklin and Marshall College Poll.

The April Franklin and Marshall College Poll found that 50% of registered voters favor the use of mail-in ballots, only a little bit more than voters who oppose it (47%). That’s a change from September 2020 when 58% favored it and only 38% were against it.

Even so, the poll found that most voters are still confident their ballots will be counted correctly.

Yost said some concerns after the election were fair, such as if a mail-in ballot should be counted if it doesn’t have a signature.

Now, Yost said, the politics of the issue might be changing.

“I do think, though, we may see this turn, because I think there are advocates within the Republican Party, who think it would be an advantage for them to start encouraging their voters to vote by mail," he said.

Pennsylvania’s primary elections are Tuesday.

Anne Danahy has been a reporter at WPSU since fall 2017. Before crossing over to radio, she was a reporter at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, and she worked in communications at Penn State. She is married with cats.