Due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and the timing of the U.S. Postal Service, many Americans will vote in the 2020 presidential election.
According to data from the U.S. Election Project saw a total of more than 21.8 million votes on Friday, indicating that this year’s turnout hit a record high, compared to 1.4 million in the same period in 2016.
“That’s unprecedented in a modern election in the United States,” Elections Project founder and University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald wrote on the project website.
He expects that “about 150 million people” will vote in this year’s election, which is “the highest electorate since 1908”.
So far, early turnout so far accounted for 15.7% of the total turnout in 2016.
Ten states, however, have already reached more than 25% of their 2016 voter tunrout as of Thursday, including North Dakota (25%), Nebraska (25.2%), Texas (27.2%), Minnesota (30.7%), Wisconsin (26.4%), Michigan (26.7%), Georgia (27%), Virginia (29.7%), New Jersey (32.7%) and Vermont (38.8%).
On Friday, Texas had the highest number of votes to date. To date, more than 2.4 million Texans have voted. California and Florida followed closely with 2.38 million and 2.27 million respectively.
The swing state of Michigan also registered more than a million votes submitted; Wednesday the turnout reached nearly 1.3 million. Maryland, New Jersey, and Georgia also had more than a million votes.
McDonald said he “expected some things to be different since states changed their laws” to accommodate voters amid the pandemic. McDonald added that “70 million mail-in ballots [are] expected to go out to voters” ahead of Nov. 3.
“People did not have to take advantage of this,” he said of mail-in ballots and early voting. But many people already have.
In some states, including Idaho, New York, Arkansas, Missouri, and Connecticut, voting data is still not available. However, California had the highest number of polling requests by mail, over 21.5 million, compared to 5.7 million in Florida on Wednesday. Washington state voters demanded 4.6 million lead votes.
The Democrats demanded 23.4 million votes, while the Republicans demanded nearly 13.4 million votes – states (including California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Maine) registered by the parties according to the report, North Carolina, NSW) yielded 10 million clue vote requests in Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Utah.
However, McDonald’s FAQs on the “Election Project” website may not accurately reflect final election results based on the voting requirements of the political parties.
“Just because registered Democrats are leading Republicans in early voting, that does not mean the Republicans will not make up ground on Election Day,” McDonald wrote, adding that “registered Democrats typically lead Republicans during early voting, and Republicans vote on Election Day, a pattern that persists across many states and elections.”
McDonald shared two possible scenarios for this year’s voter outcome.
“The first is that many voters…have successfully flattened the curve on mail-in ballots, meaning election officials will be able to more accurately process ballots,” he said. “The typical pattern is: We usually don’t see this rush at the beginning…early voting numbers are small and pick up closer to Election Day.”
He said the second situation is the United States. “Following a typical pattern, we will see unprecedented [face-to-face voting] on election day.”