By enormous margins, Texans support strong protections to our election system to ensure only legal voters are allowed to cast ballots. Nearly nine out of ten Texans said they favored voter ID laws, as well as regular audits of the voter rolls to make sure they are accurate.
The conclusions come in a wide-ranging poll of policies that are likely to be debated during Texas’ 87th legislative session now underway. In addition to election protection, the survey reveals Texans’ attitudes on issues such as, bail reform and “defunding” the police, virtual schools and the state of education during the pandemic, health care reforms, homelessness, and addressing child welfare, among others.
- Texans overwhelmingly oppose allowing tax dollars to fund lobbyists, with 86% saying the practice should end and only 7% who believe it should stay.
- A majority of Texans (55%) oppose local ordinances, like that in Austin, which allow homeless individuals to set up camps with only a few restrictions. In Austin, specifically, 70% of residents oppose the ordinance and only 26% agree with it.
- A whopping 89% of Texans said they favor “requiring voters to show a government issued ID to vote in federal and state elections.” The same number believe Texas should “require regular audits of the voter rolls to ensure they are accurate.”
- Voters are evenly split on allowing “universal vote by mail in Texas for all state and federal elections,” with 49% in support and 49% opposed. They favored having the state administer all vote-by-mail operations over each individual county 46% to 35%.
- Three out of four voters oppose calls to “defund” the police, with just 19% in support. 69% said defunding the police was “extreme” and only 25% said police funding should be reallocated to other programs.
- Bail reform, which was recently designated an emergency item by Governor Greg Abbott, received heavy support. Nearly 4 out of 5 Texans said when setting bail, judges should “have access to material that helps them assess both the level of an arrested person’s ‘flight’ risk and their security risk to the community.”
- On education, 68% of Texans believe “schools should have both in-person classes and a virtual option.” Just 6% said schools should only have virtual classes.
- 77% said schools should be required to publicly report how many seats are available at each school for new students to enroll. And 73% think “Texas public universities [should] freeze tuition at pre-Coronavirus rates for the next two years.”
- On health care, 89% of Texans believe patients should be told the price for non-emergency procedures and treatments before doctors perform them. Three out of four want to permanently expand telemedicine, and 79% support license reciprocity for out-of-state doctors.
- Several issues on child welfare continue to have broad support from Texas. 76% support reforms made in the last legislative session that would give local non-profits and charities more responsibility caring for foster children.
- Fully 80% say Child Protective Services should only be able to separate children from parents if they can demonstrate the child is at immediate risk of harm. And 87% believe Child Protective Services should only be allowed to list a person’s name in a government registry after a court has determined that the person actually committed the alleged abuse.
“The survey shows the Texas Legislature has a real mandate to make progress on a number of critical issues for the future of our state,” said TPPF’s Chief Communications Officer Brian Phillips. “From public safety to getting kids back in school safely to the proper use of our tax dollars, Texans expect bold results from policymakers. They have a tremendous opportunity this year to ensure Texas remains the most prosperous state in the country.”
The poll was conducted Feb. 2 – 4 by WPA Intelligence for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. It surveyed 817 registered voters in Texas and has a margin of error of +/-3.5%.
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