US presidential election: millions of Americans have already voted early
A number of states are already holding early voting in the US presidential elections scheduled for November 3, 2020, and four states - Georgia, Texas, Ohio and Illinois - have set voter turnout records ahead of 2016, writes Newsweek.
Less than three weeks before November 3, over 13,8 million voters have already voted in this year's upcoming general elections, according to the US Elections Project. At the same time, four years earlier, the number of votes already cast was about 1,4 million.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, health and safety concerns, coupled with efforts by some Democrats to expand postal voting, have resulted in unprecedented levels of early voting.
Georgia and Texas, which began early voting on October 12, set a record in the first days: thousands of residents waited several hours to vote.
Voters in Georgia reported on social media that early voting in the state lasted nearly 10 hours on the first day. According to the state secretary of state, on Monday, October 12, more than 128 thousand residents came to the polls, which exceeded nearly 91 thousand votes cast on the first day of early voting in 2016.
Texas also broke records for the first day of early voting by the state even before polling stations closed on Tuesday, October 13. Harris County announced that by the time polling stations closed overnight, more than 128 residents had voted across the county. In 000 hours of the first day of early voting, the state surpassed the previous record set in 9, when 2016 people voted for the day.
More than 900 people have now voted, according to the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, exceeding the 000 votes cast on the first day of early voting in the 394 election cycle.
In Ohio, early voters have tripled since 2016. More than 6 Ohio residents voted in the first week of early voting in the first week of early voting, which began October 193, compared to about 000 ballots cast on the same day in 64, according to the state secretary of state.
Illinois officials also announced that the state has broken previous records for early voting by submitting more than 600 ballots. On Tuesday, October 000, the Illinois Electoral Council reported on its website that nearly 13 voters voted in pre-voting locations, about double the number in 176 at the same time.
According to the website US Elections Project, as of 14:00 ET on October 15, states are leading:
- Florida - 2 votes
- California - 1
- Texas - 1
- New Jersey - 1
- and Virginia - 1;
- Michigan - 1
In Illinois, 722 people voted, and in Pennsylvania, 444.
The US Elections Project, created by University of Florida Associate Professor Michael McDonald, aims to "provide timely and accurate electoral statistics, election laws, research reports, and other useful information regarding the United States electoral system."
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Voting rates in Virginia, Minnesota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin have already reached 20%, MacDonald said, up from 2016. He also warned in his weekly analysis that these votes were largely democratic, which could mislead Democratic candidate Joe Biden about his chances for the presidency.
“Even if face-to-face early voting is more Republican than usual, I still expect Democratic votes to dominate cumulatively in mail-order and face-to-face early voting," MacDonald wrote. "Election day should be bright red, and we will see in which direction the scales will shift when everything is said and done."
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