In many areas that offer early voting, blacks have showed up in lower numbers than Democrats – who the electorate traditionally has favored – had counted on to help give Hillary Clinton the edge she desperately needs in what has become an unexpectedly tight race. But Latinos, another group that Democrats have been banking on, are turning out in larger numbers than anticipated, and they very well may be the ones who give the party's presidential nominee the margin of victory. With more than half the votes already cast in those states, Democrats are matching if not exceeding their successful 2012 pace, according to data compiled by The Associated Press. "We are seeing the trajectory of the election change in some states, but Democrats are also making up ground," said Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor and expert in voter turnout. Clinton, to be sure, continues to maintain an apparent edge over GOP nominee Donald Trump, with roughly one-fourth of all expected ballots cast in the 2016 election.
Mail-in voting in the United States presidential elections is set to begin on Friday as North Carolina starts sending out more than 600,000 ballots to voters - responding to a significant increase in requests across the country as voters look for a safer way to cast ballots during the coronavirus pandemic. The 643,000 ballots requested in the initial wave in North Carolina were more than 16 times the number the state sent out at the same time four years ago. The requests came overwhelmingly from Democratic and independent voters, a reflection of a new partisan divide over mail-in voting ahead of the November 3 election. The North Carolina numbers were one more bit of evidence backing up what experts have been predicting for months: Worries about the novel coronavirus are likely to push tens of millions of voters to cast their ballots by mail for the first time, transforming the way the election is conducted and the vote is counted. This time, election officials expect the majority of voters to do so.
Many Americans are voting early in the 2020 presidential election amid concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. Postal Service timing. The 5.1 million total ballots cast as of Wednesday already suggests a record turnout for this year's race compared to the 75,000 ballots that were cast at this time in 2016, according to data from the United States Elections Project. "Big topline numbers were over 5 million already, and 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 "around 150 million people" to vote in this year's election, the "highest turnout since 1908 of those eligible to vote." That number of early ballots cast so far represents 3.7% of the total national voter turnout in 2016.
Atlanta/Chicago – More than 22 million Americans have already cast ballots in the 2020 election, a record-shattering avalanche of early votes driven both by Democratic enthusiasm and a pandemic that has transformed the way the nation votes. The 22.2 million ballots submitted as of Friday night represents 16% of all the votes cast in the 2016 presidential election, even as eight states are not yet reporting their totals and voters still have more than two weeks to cast ballots. Americans' rush to vote is leading election experts to predict that a record 150 million votes may be cast and turnout rates could be higher than in any presidential election since 1908. "It's crazy," said Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political scientist who has long tracked voting for his site ElectProject.org. McDonald's analysis shows roughly 10 times as many people have voted compared with this point in 2016.
The United States is in the midst of an early voting revolution. At least 5.6 million people have already voted in the 2020 presidential election, exponentially more than had voted at this point in 2016. Americans are flocking to early voting sites and flooding election offices with mail-in ballots at totally unprecedented rates. As more states begin mailing out ballots and launching in-person early voting, the number of votes will skyrocket. By the time Election Day rolls around, a huge portion of the country will have already cast a ballot.