Early Voting Data Is 'Just Nuts'

With 3.8M votes cast, expert predicts highest voter turnout in a century
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2020 8:31 AM CDT
Expert Predicts Highest Voter Turnout in a Century
Hundreds of people wait in line to early vote in Chicago on Thursday.   (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File)

Almost 4 million Americans have already cast a ballot in the November election, according to an expert tracking early voting data, who is now predicting the highest voter turnout in a century, per Reuters. With a month to go until Election Day, some 3.8 million Americans in 31 states have already had their say, according to the US Elections Project, administered by Michael McDonald, an associate professor of political science at the University of Florida. Data compiled by CNN shows more than 3 million ballots cast in 26 states. While 57 million early or mail-in votes were cast in 2016, just 75,000 Americans had voted by this time that year. "We've never seen this many people voting so far ahead of an election," McDonald tells Reuters, noting "people cast their ballots when they make up their minds."

Democrats have "more than doubled the number of returned mail-in ballots by Republicans in seven states," per Reuters. And Democrats have cast more than half of the ballots in Florida, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, per CNN. While some states have yet to begin voting, others have expanded early and mail-in voting in response to the coronavirus. And "every piece of data suggests very high turnout for this election," McDonald tells Reuters. He predicts a record voter turnout of 150 million, or about 65% of eligible voters, for the highest rate since 1908. Some state figures as "just nuts," he adds. Early voting is almost 23% of the total 2016 turnout in South Dakota, and it's nearly 17% and 15% of that total in Virginia and Wisconsin, respectively. (More early voting stories.)

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