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Over 52 million early votes cast in US election

October 24, 2020 07:04 AM

- Country on pace for biggest turnout in over a century

Washington, Oct 23, 2020
A record-shattering 52 million Americans have already submitted their ballots with 11 days still to go until the November 3 presidential election, according to data collected by the US Elections Project.

That figure already exceeds the total number of early votes registered in the 2016 election, which, at just over 47 million, was previously touted as the highest early vote total in US history.

Michael McDonald, the University of Florida professor behind the US Elections Project, estimates that, based on current data, the total turnout will exceed 150 million people, smashing the previous record of 137.5 million set in 2016.

McDonald’s claim has been supported by other election analysts, including FiveThirtyEight’s well-known polling guru Nate Silver.

The record-breaking numbers have been attributed to two main factors. The first is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which, of all countries, arguably hit the US the hardest. This prompted the US Centers for Disease Control to recommend anyone able to do so to vote remotely and submit their ballot by mail.

That, in turn, prompted multiple states to make voting by mail more accessible than in previous years.

The unprecedented interest and enthusiasm of Americans in the lead-up to polling day is the other factor driving early voting, and what’s prompting millions of new voters to participate in the 2020 election. According to TargetSmart – a Democratic-affiliated analytics firm – 7.3 million infrequent and first-time voters had cast their ballots as of October 20, which is almost 2.5 times more than in 2016.
- Reuters

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