Two-thirds of Americans believe virus will disrupt election: survey

Washington (AFP) –


Two-thirds of Americans believe the coronavirus pandemic is "very or somewhat likely" to disrupt the ability to vote in the November presidential election, according to a survey published on Tuesday.

But a majority of those polled by the Pew Research Center are confident the election will be conducted fairly and accurately.

Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said it is "very or somewhat likely" that the COVID-19 outbreak will significantly disrupt Americans' ability to cast their ballots in November, Pew said.

Eighty percent of Democrats felt that way but just 50 percent of Republicans.

At the same time, 59 percent of those polled said they were at least somewhat confident the election will be conducted fairly and accurately and 63 percent said all citizens who want to vote will be able to do so.

Seventy percent said they supported allowing any voter to vote by mail if they want to while 52 percent said they favor conducting all elections by mail, Pew said.

President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed allegations by his opponent Joe Biden that he would try to delay the November 3 election.

"I never even thought of changing the date of the election. Why would I do that?" Trump told reporters at the White House.

"I look forward to that election, and that was just made-up propaganda. Not by him, but by some of the many people that are working" for Biden, Trump said.

The president cannot by law unilaterally change the date of the election.

"Mark my words, I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can't be held," Biden said during an online fundraiser last week.

The Pew survey of 4,917 US adults was conducted April 7-12 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.