Presidential Election Well Underway- Millions Have Already Voted

Photo by: STRF/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 10/9/20 The Board of Elections has sent out information on how to vote during the Coronavirus Pandemic in NYC. New Yorkers can vote early (October 24th - November 1st) or on Election Day (November 3rd).

As of Friday morning, the United States Elections Project showed that 7.9 million Americans already have cast early votes in the general election for president.

That count already constitutes 5.7% of the total turnout for the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and we still have 25 days until Election Day on Nov. 3. By comparison, about 75,000 Americans voted early with a month to go in the 2016 general election.

“This phenomenon is both a function of the increased supply of early-voting options and the increased interest among voters to cast an early vote,” United States Elections Project administrator Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political science professor, told Reuters.

Just like with COVID-19, the early-voting numbers can help flatten the curve. Although a record turnout is expected, the increased number of early voters can help election officials manage the ballot influx and perhaps shorten lines at voting polls on Election Day.

The early-voting process is not flawless. NPR estimated that about 550,000 early ballots were rejected in the 2020 primaries, usually because they arrived late or lacked a valid signature.

At a time in the country when many have made up their minds on Donald Trump or Joe Biden long ago, sending an early ballot is a matter of convenience and/or safety. McDonald is predicting that a record voter total will be set this year, with about 150 million people or 65% of eligible voters, the highest rate since 1908.

William Howard Taft’s electoral college advantage was as heavy as his belly in that election, although he only captured 51% of the popular vote. Good thing those sorts of disparities are history.

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