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Nearly one-in-three adults fear 2018 midterm votes will be altered: Poll

September 18, 2018

Nearly a third of American adults believe it is likely a foreign nation will interfere in the November midterm elections by altering votes, according to the results of a poll released Monday.

Conducted roughly two months until voters cast ballots for members of the House and Senate, the survey found that 31 percent of respondents believed it was likely or very likely that another country will tamper with vote tallies.

And hardly half agreed the U.S is prepared to keep the upcoming race “safe and secure.”

Based on a survey of 949 adults conducted by The Marist Poll on behalf of NPR, the results illustrate ongoing security concerns lingering among Americans two years since Russian state-sponsored hackers allegedly probed various elements of the U.S. voting system.

While the U.S. intelligence community failed to find any evidence of hackers altering votes cast during the 2016 race, recent polling suggests Americans are unconvinced the November elections will have a similar outcome.

Twenty percent of respondents surveyed this month said they believed it was likely that a foreign country will tamper with the votes cast to change the results, while 11 percent described that possibility as “very likely,” according to the results of the poll.

The majority of respondents 65 percent said they believed it was unlikely a foreign country will alter the results of the November midterms.

Nonetheless, respondents were hardly as optimistic in terms of protecting the upcoming race from interference. Only 53 percent of adults surveyed said they believed the U.S. is prepared “to keep this fall’s midterm elections safe and secure,” compared to 38 percent who said the nation was outright unprepared.

In addition to breaching the Democratic National Committee and other targets related to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Russian hackers set their sights on various aspects of the U.S. voting system leading up to the 2016 race, including websites and databases in several states, among other targets, U.S. officials said previously.

Meanwhile, only 40 percent of respondents surveyed at a recent hacking conference said election security has changed for the better since the end of the Obama administration, according to the results of a separate survey released earlier this month.

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