- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Nearly half of registered voters surveyed recently said the U.S. is not very prepared or not prepared at all to secure the 2020 elections, according to poll results published Tuesday.

Conducted by the Marist Poll in partnership with NPR and PBS’s “NewsHour,” the nationwide survey sought opinions from voters roughly 10 months left until November’s general election.

“Do you think the U.S. is very prepared, prepared, not very prepared or not prepared at all to keep this November’s elections safe and secure?” respondents were asked.

Among registered voters surveyed, 54% said that they believe the U.S. is “very prepared” or “prepared” to protect the elections, while 42% answered “not very prepared” or “not prepared at all.” Five percent said they were unsure.

Broken down by political party affiliation, respondents expressed drastically different opinions with respect to whether the U.S. is ready to secure November’s contests. Eighty-five percent of Republicans polled said that the country is either prepared or very prepared to keep the elections secured, compared to 30% of Democrats who responded the same.

Among supporters of President Trump, 85% said the U.S. is either prepared or very prepared to secure the elections, and 10% said not very prepared or not prepared at all, according to the latest polling.

The answers are based on a survey of 1,064 registered voters conducted by phone from Jan. 7-12 and have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies have assessed that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, and several members of Mr. Trump’s administration have subsequently warned that the 2020 races are likely to be targeted from abroad.

“This is not a Russia-only problem,” Shelby Pierson, the election security threats executive for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said last Tuesday. “Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, non-state hacktivists all have opportunity, means and potentially motive to come after the United States in the 2020 election to accomplish their goals.”

More recently, Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said Friday that DHS experts “fully expect” for Russia to attempt to interfere in November’s races.

The results of the latest polling are on par with similar surveys conducted following the 2016 elections by Marist Poll. Nationwide polling of adults conducted in October found that 43% of respondents said the U.S. is either not very prepared or not prepared at all to secure November’s elections.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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