25 million Americans have already voted in 2020 elections

As early voting begins across US, total ballots cast represent nearly 20 per cent of total votes in 2016 – with more than two weeks left to Election Day

Alex Woodward
New York
Saturday 17 October 2020 14:55
Biden V Trump: US election opinion polls
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More than 25 million Americans have voted so far in 2020 elections, as state elections officials report massive turnouts at early voting centres and a growing demand for mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States Elections Project has reported at least 25 million ballots have been cast, with states exceeding early voting figures from the same time period in the 2016 election.

Those votes account for nearly 20 per cent of ballots cast in 2016, with two weeks left before Election Day on 3 November. Roughly 57 million people voted early in 2016.

Among 15 states that provide voters’ party affiliation, Democrats have returned more than 5.8 million ballots – more than double the total number of ballots sent by Republicans (2.5 million).

More than 683,000 ballots have been cast in Pennsylvania – with more than 75 per cent coming from Democrats.

In Florida, emerging as a critical battleground state between Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden, more than 1.1 million Democrats have voted by mail so far, compared to 726,000 Republicans. Early voting in that state begins on Monday.

More than 100,000 voters queued up to cast ballots each day this week during early voting in Harris County in Texas, the third largest county in the US. In Nueces County, early voting numbers have already reached roughly 70 per cent of early votes cast during 2018 elections, according to election officials.

In Michigan, another likely swing state that the president flipped in 2016, nearly four times as many ballots have been cast at this point in the 2020 race than from that election. Voters age 65 and older, who have typically accounted for a majority of early votes, account for just over half of all votes, while the shares for all other age demographics have spiked.

Long lines were reported across the US as early voting began in several states this week. Voters reported waiting in line for several hours in some counties.

Early voting in North Carolina opened on Thursday. More than 272,000 votes were cast in that first day alone, accounting for 11 per cent of all eligible votes in the state.

Roughly 10 per cent of Georgia’s registered voters cast ballots this week, while more than 625,000 mail-in ballots were returned to election officials.

These numbers follow concerns among voting rights advocates – reporting long lines at polls while the president has sought to undermine mail-in voting with unfounded claims of widespread fraud – that voter suppression efforts are well underway.

In Texas, for example, Governor Greg Abbott has ordered that counties be limited to one mail-in ballot drop-off location, with a federal court siding with the state in a lawsuit filed this month to keep drop-off boxes open in one of the largest states in the US.

Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida and the man behind the United States Election Project, has projected that a record-breaking 150 million people will vote in 2020’s elections.

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