Poll: Despite Concerns Over COVID-19, 46 Percent of Arizonans of Color Plan to Vote in Person Through Election Day

Election 2020

The in-person voting plans of Black, Latinx, and AAPI voters in Arizona must be protected, voting rights advocates say

For Immediate Release
October 15, 2020

Media Contact
Maria Cruz Lee
maria.lee@publicwise.org; 347-882-3225

Arizona  – A major new poll released today by the nonpartisan group Public Wise reveals that 46% of Arizonans of color  will vote in person through Election Day, despite concerns about COVID-19, and are unlikely to change their plans.

The poll of 1,160 likely voters in Arizona shows that almost half of voters of color will cast their ballots at physical polling sites either on Election Day or as part of early voting. It deliberately oversamples people of color who are Democrats, Independents, and Republicans in Arizona to offer a more reliable and nuanced picture of their voting behavior than most standard polls that usually undersample these same voters.

Overall, the poll, conducted by Change Research, reveals 31% of likely voters of color in Arizona plan to vote in person on Election Day, 15% plan to vote in person through early voting, and 47% plan to vote absentee ballot or by mail.

Arizona Voter Plans
Arizona Voter Plans

Here are the likely voting plans of Arizona Democrats, Independents, and Republicans:

  • Arizonans voting in person on Election Day: 9% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, 44% of Independents, 57% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters;
  • Arizonans voting in person through early voting: 13% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, 4% of Independents, and 12% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters.
  • Arizonans voting by absentee ballot or by mail: 73% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, 45% of Independents, 29% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters.

Given the large number of Arizonans expected to vote in-person through Election Day, Public Wise is also helping to fund local efforts to increase the availability of masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) at polling stations across the state.

“The in-person voting plans of every Arizona voter should be fully supported and protected, especially at a time when our multi-racial democracy is under attack from the twin threats of COVID-19 and voter suppression. That’s why we’re releasing our poll findings and investing in efforts to ensure that every in-person voter in Arizona has masks and personal, protective equipment (PPE). In recent weeks, we’ve briefed grassroots groups in Arizona about the importance of ensuring that all voting in person can happen safely. With so much at stake in the upcoming elections, it’s not enough just to get out the vote. We must also protect the ability of everyone to vote, especially in communities of color with the greatest risks of voter suppression and COVID-19. Every voter must be treated with equal respect and dignity,” said Christina Baal-Owens, Executive Director of Public Wise.

“In states like Arizona, we have seen historic, egregious voter suppression efforts targeting voters of color. Unfortunately, the AAPI community is experiencing rightful distrust that their votes will be counted if they vote by mail. As much as we have been doing national voter education work to ensure that people understand how to vote by mail, can identify voter suppression, and get out the vote by their preferred means, it does not negate the experiences that our community has endured with voter suppression. This has pushed our communities to show up in person and risk their lives in order to exercise their right to vote. Arizona needs to consider and resolve 1) how it will protect voters’ health as masses of people come in-person for early voting and Election Day due to a problematic system, and 2) how racist voter suppression policies are impacting the health and welfare of communities of color,” said Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.

“So much is on the line this election year and it is critical to the strength of our democracy that every registered voter is able to vote without threats of intimidation by bad actors or health risk. Election Protection Arizona is working to ensure voters know their rights and how to vote. If you have a mail-in ballot you can drop it off in-person at a polling location or dropbox, and you are allowed to skip the line when dropping off your ballot. We urge all voters to wear a mask, bring their own black or blue pen, use hand sanitizer immediately after leaving the polling location, and remain at a safe distance from others,” said Murphy Bannerman, Deputy Director of Election Protection Arizona

The poll’s findings that almost half the likely voters of color in Arizona plan to vote in person are consistent with a larger trend for several battleground states. 

Indeed, the same poll actually finds that most people of color in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Georgia also plan to vote in person. 

Overall, 38% of Black voters and 39% of Latinx voters across these four battleground states plan to vote in person on Election Day; 29% of Black voters and 15% of Latinx voters plan to vote early in person; and 24% of Black voters and 39% of Latinx voters plan to vote by mail or absentee ballot. 

Across demographic groups, voters are extremely motivated to participate in elections this year, compared to previous years. 96% of voters say they are an 8 out of 10 or higher in terms of motivation, even while 67% of Black voters, 60% of Latinx voters, and 77% of Democrats and those who lean Democratic say COVID-19 is a very serious or serious concern with in-person voting, the poll finds.

About Public Wise

Public Wise is an organization formed in 2019 with a mission to create a government that reflects the will of the people. We set out to provide partners with concrete data to help inform organizing efforts this year. To learn more about our work, please visit www.publicwise.org 

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Arizona (Presentation | Crosstabs) Change Research surveyed 1,160 likely voters online across Arizona. Change Research uses Dynamic Online Sampling to recruit a representative sample. Weighting was done on gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and 2016 vote. The margin of error is ± 2.9% for the full sample and larger among subgroups.