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home : state news : e-state news November 25, 2020

11/20/2020 7:31:00 AM
NC Election Was Fair

Civitas News Release

A majority of North Carolina voters believe our state's elections were conducted fairly according to a post-election Civitas Poll. A statewide survey asked likely voters, “How confident are you that the 2020 election in North Carolina was held fairly?”
More than two-thirds said they are confident in the fairness of the election. Even so, three out of ten voters say they are not confident the election was conducted fairly. Those that voted for President Donald Trump, registered Republicans, and those that identified as “very conservative” are among those most likely to express concern about election fairness.  
Voters that indicated they spent more time researching candidates were more likely to indicate they trusted the outcome of the election.
How confident are you that the 2020 election in North Carolina was held fairly?

Very confident 48%
Somewhat confident  20%
Not too confident  14%
Not at all confident 17%
Unsure/Refused 2%
"While we want the confidence level in our elections to be closer to 100 percent, it's heartening that a wide majority of North Carolina voters believe that such a contentious election cycle was administered fairly," said Civitas Institute President Donald Bryson.

"Looking into the demographics, there is a division on this topic between self-described Very and Somewhat Conservative voters- with Somewhat Conservatives saying they believe the election was fair."
Those surveyed were also asked how much time they spent researching candidates compared to previous elections. While the majority (57%) stated they spent about the same amount of time researching candidates compared to previous elections, nearly one-third (31%) spent more time researching candidates and only 10% spent less time.
Additionally, unaffiliated voters, highly educated voters, those that identify as “somewhat conservative” and 18-34-year olds were most likely to report that they spent more time researching candidates down the ballot.  
Thinking about state government, which do you prefer: a unified government in which the governor and majorities in both houses of the state legislature are from the same party; OR a divided government, in which the governor and the majority in at least one of the houses of the state legislature are from different parties?
Unified government 41%
Divided government 49%
Unsure/Refused 10%
It is likely that this increase in supplemental candidate research lent to a stronger preference for divided government among voters. Respondents that spent more time researching candidates were more than three times as likely to prefer a divided government than those that spent less time on candidate research.
Bryson continued, "Democracy is, by nature, messy. However, these results show the beauty of an election cycle. When nearly one-third of voters say they spent more time researching candidates and issues, it is a sign of stronger civic engagement."
Voters were also asked how concerned they were about their food’s country and/or state of origin. Agriculture is North Carolina’s top industry and it is clear that voters have a strong preference for locally produced and grown food. 
How important is it that your food comes from farms in North Carolina rather than outside of the state?
Important 76%
Total not important 23%

“At a time when it's hard to find much that both sides agree on, we have a glaring one here. North Carolinians want more access to locally grown food and here at Civitas, we couldn't agree more. It's time for leaders in Raleigh to increase market access for local farmers and build our state back from within through policies that benefit both farmers and consumers,” said Michael Harden, Civitas’ director of agricultural studies and outreach.
Complete poll results can be found here.

Crosstabs can be found here.
Methodology: The sample size for the survey is 513 likely voters in North Carolina and the margin of error is +/-4.33% at a 95% confidence interval, meaning that if this survey were repeated, results would not vary from the population by more than 4.33 percentage points 19 times out of 20. Responses were gathered via landline and mobile telephone interviews conducted by live callers at a professional call center. Demographics were adjusted to reflect the population from which the sample was drawn. The survey was conducted November 12-14, 2020 by Harper Polling, a Cygnal company. The total percentages of responses may not equal 100% due to rounding.

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Lincoln Herald note: The election in area counties was certified as fair by local elections offices.  Brad Putnam, Elections Director for Lincoln County, said he, like we, had heard multiple statements (many of them posted on Facebook) about people allegeding that they (or someone they knew) got multiple absentee ballots, but Putnam confirmed that not one person had been able to produce one of the alleged 'bogus' ballots.  Most of those making the claim said  they 'threw the extra ballots in the trash.'  

It's important to note that the absentee ballots are all numbered and the Elections Office is reponsible for keeping a record of those numbers and to whom they mailed those ballots.  There was no discrepancy in the ballot number listing, so no extra ballots were mailed by the Elections Office.  Creating a fake ballot or obtaining one for a deceased individual or attempting to get an extra ballot is a felony--but like some of the other complaints that were made, nobody was able to produce any legitimate evidence.

President Donald Trump won the state's Presidential election and will get NC's electoral votes; Roy Cooper was re-elected Governor & Sen. Thom Tillis was re-elected.  Josh Stein won a very close race for Atty. General, there won't be a recount.  Cheri Beasley came close enough in the race for Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court to call for one in that race with Paul Newby, and a machine recount will be held Monday in NC elections offices.  


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