Indiana residents shared their opinions about election integrity and state tax spending in the third and final round of results from the 2023 Hoosier Survey, released today by Ball State University’s Bowen Center for Public Affairs.

The Hoosier Survey is an annual non-partisan public policy study that represents the pulse of the state regarding the most pressing issues facing Indiana residents.

The entire 2023 Hoosier Survey results—which includes questions regarding thoughts on marijuana use, abortion, President Joe Biden, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, and more—can be found on the Bowen Center for Public Affairs website.

Highlights from this week’s round of results include:

  • For the question, “Over the last couple of elections, how confident are you that your vote was counted as intended?” 32.3 percent of respondents selected “Somewhat Confident,” 30 percent selected “Very Confident,” 17.2 percent selected “Not too Confident,” while about 10.5 percent selected “Don’t know/Not sure,” and 10 percent selected “Not at all Confident.”

  • The survey also asked respondents to indicate how often they believed the following fraudulent voting practices occurred in their county: voting more than once, non-citizen voting, mail in vote fraud, changing vote count, impersonating another voter, software manipulation, paying for votes, and fraudulent voter registration. An average of 33.5 percent of responses to those practices were answered “Almost Never;” an average of 25.4 percent of responses were answered “Infrequently;” an average of 24.6 percent of responses were answered “Occasionally;” and an average of 16.6 percent of responses were answered “Very common.”

    “We used questions that are used in a national survey conducted by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) on elections and, as has been found nationally, there are concerns that linger about elections and their security,” said Dr. Chad Kinsella, director of the Bowen Center for Public Affairs and associate professor of political science at Ball State. “There are several organizations and elected officials throughout the state that have and continue to work to build confidence in election integrity including the Secretary of State and county clerks.”

    Another key program in place that protects election integrity in Indiana is the Voting System Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP) at Ball State. VSTOP, whose work is conducted independently of the Hoosier Survey, advises the Indiana Secretary of State and the Indiana Election Commission on the certification of voting machines and electronic poll books in Indiana. The VSTOP team also administers the Certificate in Election Administration, Technology and Security (CEATS) for Indiana election administrators; developed and continues to maintain a database containing all election equipment utilized in the State of Indiana; and prepares reports on best practices and innovations for Indiana election administration.

  • Regarding state taxes, respondents were asked, “Would you favor or oppose eliminating the state personal income tax if other taxes were increased to keep overall revenue about the same?” 35.5 percent of respondents selected “Don’t know/Not sure,” while 34.8 percent selected “Favor,” and 29.7 percent selected “Oppose.”

  • When asked, “Considering all state government services on the one hand and taxes on the other, which of the following statements comes closest to your view,” 40 percent of respondents selected “Decrease services and lower taxes,” 33 percent selected “Keep taxes and services about where they are,” while 16.3 percent selected “Don’t know/Not sure,” and 10.7 percent selected “Increase services and raise taxes.”

  • Using a scale of 1 (very fair) to 5 (not at all fair), respondents were asked to indicate what they thought about the following state taxes in terms of fairness: state income tax, retail sales tax, gas tax, motor vehicle tax, and cigarette, beer, and wine taxes. An average of 33.8 percent of responses to those state taxes were answered “Fair, 3;” an average of 25.5 percent of responses were answered with a “4;” an average of 21.9 percent of responses were answered “Not at all fair, 5;” with an average of about 9 percent of responses each being selected for “Very Fair, 1” and “2.”

    “Not surprisingly, people do not like taxes overall, with many respondents willing to decrease government services to decrease taxes,” Dr. Kinsella said. “Hoosiers particularly do not like gas, beer/liquor, and car taxes, but are less opposed to income and sales taxes. Interestingly, when asked about eliminating income tax in favor of a higher sales tax, the most selected answer was, ‘Don’t know/Not sure.’”

This year’s Hoosier Survey featured interviews with 600 Indiana adults (age 18 or older). Respondents were asked several closed-end questions concerning policy related to local, state, and national politics, as well as demographic questions. No respondents were asked to identify themselves at any point during the survey, and all data is maintained as anonymous.

A first-of-its-kind public policy survey for the Bowen Center for Public Affairs, the inaugural Hoosier Survey was conducted in 2008. It is the only Indiana-specific survey in the state that examines Hoosiers’ opinions on a variety of national, state, and local issues. Several demographics are collected with each survey, including gender, political party, ideology, age, education, race, income, and religious service attendance.

complete listing of all Hoosier Survey results can be found on the Bowen Center for Public Affairs website.

Founded in March 2007, the Bowen Center for Public Affairs is a freestanding center at Ball State University in the College of Sciences and Humanities and is allied with the Department of Political Science. The center honors the integrity and leadership of Dr. Otis R. Bowen, the 44th Governor of Indiana and the 16th Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Ronald Reagan.

Advancing the ideals of civic literacy, community involvement, and public service embodied by Dr. Bowen’s career, the center provides networking, training, and research opportunities through its three institutes: Bowen Institute on Political Participation; Institute for Public Service; and Institute for Policy Research.