With Election Day less than three weeks away, millions of Americans are casting their ballots early, voting in record numbers in what could be an historic turnout, with many either mailing their ballot or standing in long lines, not deterred to wait for the opportunity to officially make their voices heard.
It appears the Democratic ticket has been the driving force behind the record early turnout. So far, overall pre-election ballots of nearly 18 million have already surpassed the number of total votes in 2016 by more than 12% nationally. In the key battleground states of Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin, voter turnout has surpassed 2016 numbers by 20% so far – a sure sign that Americans are eager to create a sea change – and possibly make history in the process. Voters also showed their enthusiasm to wait on long lines in Ohio, Georgia, Virginia and Texas, which also saw record numbers on the first day of early voting.
In North Carolina, another crucial battleground state, Democrats had a record 628,000 voters request mail-in ballots with almost 270,000, nearly 43%, returned so far. In contrast, Republicans in the state have returned just a little over 96,000 of the almost 259,000 requested. In Pennsylvania, Joe Biden’s home state and also key in the election, Democrats requested 1.7 million ballots and have returned over 22% so far. Republican voters in the state requested less than half that of Democrats and have returned 12% thus far.
University of Florida Professor Michael McDonald, who tracks voter turnout, estimates 2020 could see the highest number of Americans voting in a presidential election since 1908. Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a firm which closely monitors Democratic voting data, said voter turnout nationally could realistically be as high as 160 million, well above the 137.5 million in 2016.
Ann Sullivan is a contributing staff writer covering national and world news topics. She brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.