Are Americans … afraid to vote? A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll gathered responses from Democratic, Republican and Independent voters, and their responses display the high level of concern among American voters ahead of the 2020 election. Survey questions revolved around election security, and ranged from whether the U.S. is capable of keeping the next election safe from foreign tampering to whether participants thought their vote would be counted. Foreign interference, voter suppression, and voter fraud are the primary sources of their concerns.
In a reflection of how divided the country is, only 62% of Americans said U.S. elections are fair. Between the electoral college and rumored interference in the 2016 election, this response isn’t surprising. The public’s general mistrust of state-secured elections is alarming, but so is the polarization of responses by party. According to the data, the public’s opinion is polarized by political party, which makes these results less indicative of each individual’s belief and, instead, raises questions of mob mentality and selective exposure among American political factions. Donald Trump’s cries of “fake news” are pivotal in this conversation, but even without provocation from the president, outlets sometimes produce content so biased that even aligned viewers detest it.
The polarized results make it clear that Democrats and Republicans committed to their team and dug in for a never-ending tug of war match, with independents just as torn amongst themselves. If only we had some sort of leader to address bipartisan tensions in America with charisma, tranquil rhetoric and love for all Americans:
We can’t generate solutions before agreeing on our problems. Due to the bipartisan war dominating the media, Democrats, Republicans and Independents are at odds over the 2020 election’s greatest threat. As NPR notes, Independents identified disinformation as the biggest threat, while most Republicans are most concerned with voter fraud and Democrats are enraged over voter suppression.
This intense conflation is snowballing as we approach the election, and divides are deepening. 2020 is officially the future, though, which means news updates are constantly pinging in our pockets, delivering new perspectives around the clock. Although it’s convenient to let Siri curate your news options, or even just to rely on your favorite outlet solely, these methods for information gathering will inevitably lead to biased, incomplete opinions. Our current climate demands that informed voters join diverse media bubbles that evaluate and critique ideals objectively, instead of hunting for opposition. Step outside of your selective media exposure and form personal relationships with the publications President Trump discredits. Discuss their ideals without debating, and who knows? Maybe you have friends on the other side.