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NCSC national poll gives insight into the public's perception and interaction with courts in a (post?) pandemic world

June 29, 2020

While America continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19, there have been efforts to return court operations back to something closer to a new normal. The question of how Americans might react to this was at the heart of a recent national poll conducted by NCSC that asked 1,000 registered voters between June 8-11 their views. Among the findings:

  • Confidence in state courts is steady at 70%, the same as the 8-year average of similar NCSC polls
  • 55% of respondents cited at least one obstacle to reporting for jury service if called including an inability to secure childcare (19%), someone in their household with an underlying health condition (47%) and service as a primary caregiver to an elderly family member (14%)
  • People were asked on a scale of 1 to 10 of how comfortable they would personally feel right now to engage in certain activities. 52% scored reporting for jury duty at their local courthouse between 0-5 (average 5.5).  54% scored serving on a jury if selected between 0-5 (5.1 average).
  • When asked whether the implementation of  protective measures would make them comfortable reporting to their local courthouse for jury duty 70%+ responded positively to
    • everyone (employees + public) wearing masks (70%)
    • social distancing being enforced (70%)
    • temperature checks (74%)
    • coronavirus testing (76%)
  • When asked specifically about rules they would like to see regarding the wearing of masks, 67% of those polled favored masks being required. 13% supported there being no rules whatsoever.
  • 64% of those polled indicated that if they had business with the courts and could do so online they would be likely to do so, up 43% in 2014.

Additional information regarding the poll results of this year or prior years can be found at NCSC's State of the State Courts page.