When Arizonans’ confidence in the security and integrity of elections is barely over the midpoint in the latest public opinion survey, the question of whether the glass is half full or half empty becomes a key question. 

While my friends at O.H. Predictive Insights have chosen to use an optimistic headline (“Election Integrity: So Last Year; A Majority of Arizona Voters are Confident in the Security of Arizona’s Elections“), and I have – against my typical nature – gone the more pessimistic route, there can be no disagreement on the numbers: 

(1) 61% of self-identifying Republicans are less than confident (somewhat, not too, plus not at all) in the integrity of our elections, AND 

(2) the numbers of those who *are* confident (extremely plus moderately) across both parties and independents IS SLIPPING.

I greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with Mike Noble and the OH team to add this “Arizona’s Politics/Law question” to their latest  “Arizona Public Opinion Pulse” (AZPOP) survey. I gained valuable insights into the process as we discussed various wordings of the possible questions. We decided to include the broadly-worded “How confident are you in the integrity of elections in Arizona, in general?” because it had been asked in 2021 – during the GOP State Senate’s so-called audit, and we could compare the trend.

Confidence continues to erode among all political party choices and demographics. Fortunately, though, it mostly stayed within the 3.1% margin of error. Among Republicans, the drop among those “extremely” or “moderately” confident was only from 40% to 39%. Democrats, 80% to 78%. Independents, a slide from 57% to 52% – greater than the MOE.

The other questions asked in the AZPOP survey were new to 2023, but they also show that an alarming portion of Arizona voters have lost faith in our election system, due to the constant barrage of misinformation, disinformation and unsuccessful litigation. (Yes, visible Election Day snafus – common or not, innocent or not – do not help.) Those numbers are detailed at OH’s link.

Here is my quote that I had hoped would be included in the OH news release of the survey:

“Confidence in our elections cannot continue to be divided along partisan lines. Arizona’s system of laws and processes have been put in place by Republicans and Democrats – the recent efforts to gain a partisan advantage by questioning results without evidence have succeeded in weakening our democracy. I am saddened, but will work with all to bring the confidence level back up to where it needs to be.”

I understand they were concerned that this quote – coming from someone who had run for office as a partisan last year – might be perceived as a partisan quote. However, I believe it is just as non-partisan as the rest of the release portraying the leaky glass as half full. 

I hope you will agree and that we will all work to refill the glass of confidence.

“AZ Law” includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona’s Politics on the internet. 

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