2022 Tennessee Election Integrity Poll

Publication date: January 20, 2022
Written by: Stefani Buhajla

The Center for Excellence in Polling recently surveyed likely Tennessee voters on election integrity issues. The results indicate that while voters have immense confidence in the way the state conducts elections, there is significant openness—especially among Republicans and Independents—to reforms that will further ensure security and transparency in Tennessee elections.

Tennessee’s Election Processes Inspire Confidence

Survey respondents were presented with current state election provisions and were asked to indicate whether that provision increases their confidence, decreases their confidence, or does not change their confidence level in Tennessee elections.

Poll results show that measures that protect voter identity and ensure ballot security give voters confidence their vote will be counted fairly.

  • Tennessee requires voters to present government-issued photo identification when casting a ballot in person. Nearly three-quarters of all likely voters say this increases their confidence in elections (69%). This includes 42% of likely Democrat voters.
  • More than half of all likely voters say that prohibiting unsolicited ballot applications increases their confidence in elections (58%).
  • More than half of all likely voters say that prohibiting ballot harvesting increases their confidence in elections (57%).
  • Nearly half of all Democrats (47%) and more than half of all Independents (57%) say that their confidence in elections increases thanks to Tennessee’s offer of a $1,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction of voter or election fraud.

Regardless of political party, most voters want to know that elections will be safe from counterfeit ballots. Tennessee ballots require a watermark on all mail-in, absentee ballots, and 78% say this increases their confidence, with 74% of Democrats responding favorably.

Voters Support How Tennessee Conducts Elections

An overwhelming majority of all likely Tennessee voters (85%) say they are mostly confident or better that their vote is being accurately counted in Tennessee. Slightly more than one-tenth say they’re mostly unconfident or worse (11%). To have such a sweeping majority of all likely voters in agreement that they are “mostly confident”—or better—in state elections processes is remarkable.

More Republicans (14%) than Democrats (9%) and Independents (11%) say they are mostly unconfident or worse that their ballots are being accurately counted. This is particularly worth noting in a state as safely and historically red as Tennessee.

Voters clearly trust and have confidence in the great lengths the state has gone to secure ballots and protect the entire election process from fraud and cheating. More than half of all voters (64%) say they trust state and local government officials more than federal officials to operate elections in Tennessee.

Unsurprisingly, nearly two-thirds (62%) also oppose allowing the federal government to dictate how Tennessee should operate its elections. An overwhelming majority of Republicans (83%) and more than half of all Independents (61%) reject the idea of federal control over state elections.

Republicans and Independents Support Further Transparency and Security in Elections

More than half of all voters support further legislation to improve transparency and security in Tennessee elections (59%). And this includes a plurality (39%) of Democrat voters.

Several reforms polled favorably among Tennessee voters:

  • Fifty-six percent of all likely voters support requiring absentee ballots to include a government-issued photo identification number.
  • A majority of all likely voters support allowing the state to prohibit individuals from voting if they have been convicted of voter fraud—this includes more than half of Democrat voters (54%).
  • More than half of all voters oppose automatically registering individuals to vote, regardless of whether they asked to be registered (51%).