With Election Day only being a few days away, over 92 million Americans have already cast their vote for the 2020 presidential election. These numbers drastically exceed what was seen during the 2016 election in terms of early voting, as several states are approaching or even exceeding their total voter turnout numbers they had in 2016. Motivated voters are acting early to ensure their ballots are counted in such an important election in American history.
Driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns over the capabilities of the U.S. Postal Service, recent court hearings that could limit which ballots get counted and a continuously tested faith over the Electoral College have pushed many Americans towards casting their votes far earlier than the intended Election Day on Nov. 3, this being especially prevalent with those living in battleground states.
These battleground states will play an even more vital role in dictating who will win the race for the 2020 presidency. Many of the places that were critical to Trump’s victory within the 2016 election will also decide if he will win a second term. In Texas, a closely watched battleground state, more than nine million ballots have been cast as of this past Friday, surpassing the total number of votes cast there in the 2016 election alone. Similar trends are appearing in other battleground states such as Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada, who have surpassed 80 percent of the turnout from the last presidential election.
As early voting commenced, it appeared as though more Democrats were rapidly returning ballots over their Republican counterparts. This trend has shifted drastically within recent days as newly mobilized Republican voters are casting their votes early in mass numbers. For example in Florida, 40 percent of the ballots returned so far came from registered Democrats, as 38 percent came from registered Republicans.
Voter enthusiasm has many political operatives projecting that the 2020 election may smash records in terms of voter turnout, possibly beating the 2016 high mark of 139 million votes.
The impact of this massive voting surge generates an almost unpredictable facet within this election, as it’s difficult for strategists and political operatives to gauge an advantage by either candidate. Former Vice President Joe Biden is counting on a strong early vote to help him flip swing states such as Florida and Arizona. President Trump and his Republican supporters continue to count on their in-person turnout on election day to deliver battleground wins, similarly to what was seen back in 2016.
Anxious but determined to make their voices heard, Americans are pushing through obstacles such as the pandemic and long voting lines to cast their ballots. Now more than ever, it’s important to ensure your voices are heard.