More than 7 Million Americans Already Have Voted
With just three weeks to go before the election, a CNN and Edison Research survey of election officials in 36 states finds that more than 7.3 million Americans have already voted. Overwhelmingly Democrats are the ones casting their ballots early, ostensibly to avoid having to congregate in indoor polling places on Nov. 3. Republicans, at least according to Donald Trump, are going to prefer voting in person.
CNN’s report states that “While the returns represent a small fraction of the expected number of ballots to be cast in 2020 — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton received about 130 million votes combined four years ago — some states have reported that the numbers of ballot requests and returns have already set records. Ballot requests in 38 states, whether by mail or through some form of in-person early voting, surpassed 35 million this week.”
By the end of the week, ballots will be available in all 50 states and Washington, DC.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the pace of early voting will only accelerate as we get closer to Nov. 3. For instance, a massive line of mostly masked voters formed on Sept. 18, the first day of early voting in Virginia.
“We’re probably looking at three times the rate for early voting that we saw in 2016,” Gary D. Scott, the head of the office of elections in the commonwealth’s Fairfax County, told The Washington Post.
On the first day of early voting, lines at the Fairfax County Government Center are out the door (but don’t worry, there are many more days left to vote early and more locations will open in October). #Election2020 pic.twitter.com/HaR06mAYO5
— Fairfax County Government 😷 (@fairfaxcounty) September 18, 2020
According to CNN, more than 700,000 Iowans have requested absentee ballots, exceeding such requests in 2016. In Ohio the almost 2.2 million ballot requests are practically double that in early October 2016.
And in what could be a particularly troubling sign for the Trump campaign, hundreds of resident of Florida’s Villages retirement community caravanned in their golf carts to the county court house last week to cast their early ballots for Joe Biden. Pollsters see such displays as evidence that Trump’s support among seniors, many of whom disapprove of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, has eroded since 2016.