ITR Survey Results: 2020 Voter Concerns During COVID-19

October 23rd, 2020 - Arlington, Virginia

October 23rd, 2020 – Arlington, Virginia

In our latest our latest partnered survey with Rexer Analytics, Tele-Town Hall used our Interactive Texting Response (ITR) platform to survey 417 registered voters to gauge their concerns with in-person voting on November 3rd. This ITR survey sheds light on those safety concerns, how many individuals plan to vote absentee, and whether or not these concerns are influenced by party affiliation.

Perhaps the most interesting finding from this ITR survey is the number of responses we received. This survey was deployed to 12,500 phone numbers and 417 of these individuals filled out the survey. That\’s a response rate of 3%, which is quite high for a remote survey. It\’s a testament to the power and effectiveness of our Interactive Texting Response platform with regards to reaching voters. Check out the full ITR survey results listed below.

2020 Voter Concerns During COVID-19

Safety concerns related to COVID-19 are significantly influencing individuals’ decisions about how to vote in this year’s election according to a survey conducted by Rexer Analytics and Tele-Town Hall in early October 2020. These concerns, and their impact on voter behavior, are starkly different depending on party membership. Democrats are considerably more concerned about the dangers of COVID-19 and more likely to choose alternate methods of voting other than in-person on November 3rd.

The text-based nationwide survey of 417 registered likely voters revealed that 30% of voters are very or extremely concerned about their safety due to COVID-19 if they voted in-person on November 3rd. An additional 18% are moderately concerned. Among the very/extremely concerned voters, only 15% plan to vote on election day, with an additional 14% planning to vote early in-person. The majority of these people (69%) plan to vote via absentee, mail-in, or ballot drop-off methods. This contrasts sharply with the 38% of voters who say they are not at all concerned about COVID safety at polling places. Among this group, 48% plan to vote in-person on election day, with an additional 26% planning to vote early inperson. Only 25% of this group plans to vote via absentee, mail-in, or ballot drop-off methods. Republicans and Democrats view the COVID-19 threat to in-person voting very differently. Only 14% of Republicans are very or extremely concerned about the safety of in-person voting on November 3rd , compared to 43% of Democrats. Conversely, 67% of Republicans, versus 13% of Democrats, are “not at all concerned.” In other words, Republicans are 5 times more likely to be unconcerned with in-person voting on November 3rd than are Democrats.

Voting plans of Republicans and Democrats are differently affected by these concerns, with only 20% of Democrats planning to vote in person on November 3rd versus 47% of Republicans. Correspondingly, as of October 11th, 42% of Democrats had already voted compared to 13% of Republicans. While intended early in-person voting rates between Democrats and Republicans are similar, 22% versus 25% respectively, far more Democrats (57%) than Republicans (27%) plan to use one of the remote methods (i.e., mail-in, absentee, or ballot drop-off).

Voter concerns about COVID-19 risks generally revolve around lack of mask use (53%), poor social distancing (47%) and long lines increasing COVID exposure (46%). There was less concern about polling booths being sanitized (35%). The top four measures that can be taken at polling sites to increase voters’ sense of safety are poll workers and voters wearing masks (both 77%), hand sanitizer being available upon entrance (75%), and marking lines to keep voters at least 6 feet apart (73%).

Please contact Rexer Analytics or Tele-Town Hall for more information about this COVID Voter Survey. Rexer Analytics is headquartered in Winchester MA and is a leader in data science, predictive modeling, and research consulting.


Karl Rexer, Ph.D.     
Rexer Analytics 

Matt Hayes
Tele-Town Hall

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