With restrictions on social distancing and group gatherings continuing, many minds are looking to the election. If there are significant restrictions in place, how will investors be able to easily get to the polls to place their votes? If they have never done absentee ballots before, how comfortable are investors with the idea of voting by mail? This may or may not be a reality we will face come November, although only a third of investors believe the Presidential election will be done by mail, according to our recent research.
This method of voting has become increasingly popular in recent years, with most states adopting some form of mail-in voting option, although the rules surrounding those options vary significantly by state. In the past 20 years the percentage of individuals voting through the method of mail has doubled, according to the U.S. Census. The election in 2018 had 23.1 percent voting by mail. For those investors who are among the three quarters of the country who have not voted by mail, the prospect could be concerning.
According to our recent research, 42 percent of investors are concerned or very concerned about using mail-in ballots for the 2020 Presidential election. This concern varies by political party, as nearly two-thirds of Republicans are concerned about using mail-in ballots, while only 29 percent of Democrats are concerned about voting using this method. Working investors are far more concerned about using this method of voting than their retired counterparts, 46 percent versus 35 percent.
Concern regarding this method of voting does not mean these investors don’t support having the election done by mail. When investors were asked about their support of having the 2020 Presidential election done entirely by mail on a 0-100 point scale, with 0 disagreeing and 100 agreeing, Millennials were the most in agreement at 68.40, while Baby Boomers were the least in agreement at 58.33, although a score over 50 would indicate that all ages of investors are more inclined to agree with the 2020 Presidential election being done entirely by mail.
While the subject of how the election is to be held may not be a financial one, it is something that many investors are very concerned with and they may want to discuss those concerns with a financial professional, especially if they believe the format of the election may impact the outcome, which in turn can impact the economy.