HPU/News and Record Poll: North Carolinians Have Mixed Feelings on New Voting Laws

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High Point University National Poll

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 17, 2013 – The new North Carolina voting and election rules recently signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory received mixed responses from adults in the state, according to a new poll from High Point University and the Greensboro News and Record.

The HPU/News and Record Poll findings concerning McCrory and the legislature’s highly publicized achievement show high levels of support for parts of the law such as requiring government-issued photo ID to vote, but majorities disapprove of new limits on early voting and same-day registration to vote and cast a ballot.

Knowledge of these voting and election changes is not particularly widespread in North Carolina. Only about a quarter (27 percent) of North Carolina residents say that they have heard a lot about the new law.

Some provisions of the law find consistent support. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents say they approve of the law’s requirement that voters show government-issued photo ID.

Other parts of the law have less support. Majorities of North Carolinians disapprove of the elimination of same-day registration (56 percent) and shortening of the time allotted for early voting from 17 to 10 days (55 percent).

There were no clear majorities either way on the elimination of straight ticket voting and raising limits on campaign contributions from $4,000 to $5,000.

A total of 45 percent of North Carolinians say that they approve of ending straight-ticket voting while 47 percent disapprove of that change. Forty-six percent of respondents approve of the increase in donations while 42 percent disapprove of the raised limits.

“Protecting voting rights and ensuring integrity of elections are crucial government functions in a representative democracy,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll and assistant professor of political science. “It is important to understand North Carolinians’ views on this topic because the new law will affect the outcomes of future elections. These findings show that the public favors some of these rules more than others.”


All Adults – Read or Heard about Voting and Election Law

How much have you heard or read about the new law Governor McCrory recently signed that changes voting and election rules?  Would you say you have heard or read a lot, a little bit, or not much at all about this new voting and election law?


A lot – 27 percent

A little bit – 41 percent

Not much at all – 31 percent

(Don’t know) – 1 percent


All Adults – Provisions of Voting and Election Law

I am going to read summaries of several parts of the new voting law. Please tell me whether you approve or disapprove of these new rules.


Voters must present government-issued photo identification at the polls

Approve – 72 percent

Disapprove – 26 percent

(Neither) – 2 percent

(Don’t know) – 1 percent


Early voting–a time during which voters may cast their ballots prior to Election Day–is shortened from 17 days to 10 days

Approve – 40 percent

Disapprove – 55 percent

(Neither) – 2 percent

(Don’t know/Refuse) – 2 percent


There will no longer be straight ticket voting where individuals may indicate at a single place on the ballot that they would like to vote for candidates of a particular party in all the races on the ballot where that party is represented

Approve – 45 percent

Disapprove – 47 percent

(Neither) – 4 percent

(Don’t know/Refuse) – 5 percent


The limit on campaign donations that individuals may give to political campaigns will rise from $4,000 to $5,000

Approve – 46 percent

Disapprove – 42 percent

(Neither) – 7 percent

(Don’t know) – 5 percent


There will no longer be same-day registration during which voters could register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day

Approve – 40 percent

Disapprove – 56 percent

(Neither) – 2 percent

(Don’t know) – 2 percent


The most recent survey was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Sept. 8 – 12. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 408 adults with landline or cellular telephones. This release is based on data from those respondents. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 5 percentage points for these respondents. The data are weighted when appropriate toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender and race. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://src.highpoint.edu/

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Dr. Sadie Leder, assistant professor of psychology, serves as the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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