Should it be easier to vote? Americans are deeply divided by party

Most Americans – 59 percent — think everything possible should be done to make it easy for citizens to vote. Almost 80 percent say they oppose making voting mandatory. These are the results of a new survey from the Pew Research Center, which comes as partisan disputes over voting requirements continue in courts and legislatures across the country.

The poll shows a sharp partisan split over how easy it should be to cast a ballot. While 84 percent of Democrats favor making voting as easy as possible, only 35 percent of Republicans think that should be the case. Instead, 63 percent of Republicans — compared to 15 percent of Democrats — think citizens should prove they want to vote by registering in advance.

These differences over access to the ballot box underlie much of the ongoing debate over new voting laws and requirements. Democrats generally support measures such as allowing voters to register and vote on the same day, and automatic voter registration, while Republicans tend to favor strict identification laws to verify that voters are eligible.