Early Voting Turnout Breaks Records


Amanda Chang, Staff Writer

137 million people voted in the 2016 general election, but the ballots submitted this year have already surpassed this number—by over 43%. 

The early vote in Texas “is coming in so fast, it has already hit 80% of the state’s 2016 vote total. In California, almost 45% of the 2016 total has come in,” reported Los Angeles Times

Many Americans have gone to extremes in order to get their vote in; some Georgians waited in line for 11 hours. Others, in Florida, waited in long lines while it rained.

“67% of Americans say they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting,” according to a Gallup public opinion poll.

When “you put unprecedented levels of interest and enthusiasm together with raising the stakes in a global pandemic and making voting more accessible, you end up with turnout at breathtaking levels,” said Tom Bonier, a chief executive of Democratic vote-analysis firm TargetSmart.

The unprecedented turnout of early votes could be the highest since 1908 and may create a milestone of more votes cast before election day, rather than on the day itself. However, many of the ballots already in have been made by Democrats who fear their votes will not be counted, so it is still to be seen how many Republicans will eventually vote, either before or on election day.

“Election analysts said the surge could signal greater enthusiasm among Democrats and those determined to vote Trump out,” reported LA Times.

A record number of volunteers to help as poll workers has also come with the high number of voters in many areas.

“In Madison, Wisconsin, so many people signed up to work the polls—twice as many as in the previous three presidential elections—officials shut down the application process,” described LA Times

People have also shown skyrocketing support, from yard signs to donations, for both parties. Yard signs have had increasing popularity, and one yard sign distribution drive-through party had cars lined up for a mile before the distribution started. 

The Nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics reported on Oct. 1 that small donors, who donate $200 or less, made up 22% of all federal committees’ fundraising. As of Sept. 30, 32% of Biden’s $259 million and half of Trump’s $272 million were from small donors. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, both percentages are more than any other presidential candidate has ever had. 

As of Oct. 29, there have been more than 80 million early votes casted, according to the U.S. Elections Project. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.


Photo courtesy of LATIMES.COM