The 2018 Election Day Voter Experience Survey conducted by U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) together with its Overseas Vote initiative from November 6-12, 2018, provides insight into 5,100 American voters’ experiences of casting a ballot (or not) through five different voting methods, both domestic and overseas; key points are presented here.
217,411 survey invitations were sent to voters on the US Vote and Overseas Vote mailing lists on November 6, 2018 and were further promoted through social media and partner mailing lists including those of American Citizens Abroad and Democrats Abroad. No reminders were sent. Altogether, 5,100 responses were collected before the survey was closed on November 12, 2018.
Of the 5,100 respondents, 88% reported having voted in the 2018 midterm elections, while 12% said they did not vote. Of those who reported having cast a ballot:
- 2,261(58%) identified as overseas absentee (vote-by-mail) voters;
- 984 (23%) as polling place voters;
- 689 (16%) as domestic absentee (vote-by-mail) voters;
- 386 (9%) as early voters;
- and 638 as unable to vote.
The remaining voters either cast a military absentee ballot, a provisional ballot, or took part in Election Day registration and voting.
Respondents’ ages were 18-29 years old (10%); 30-45 years old (20%); 46-65 years old (43%) and over 65 years old (27%). Over half of the overseas respondents were in six countries; the highest percentages of respondents were voters based in Germany (11%); Israel (10%); France (9%); UK and Canada (each 8%); and Australia (7%).
Overall, great progress has been made in recent years. Nonetheless, challenges do remain. While technology has certainly facilitated voting, both at home and abroad, at the same time, technology has created new challenges for voters.