Americans voting early in record numbers in Presidential election | Daily News


 

Americans voting early in record numbers in Presidential election

Long lines of voters queue up to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting in Texas on Tuesday.
Long lines of voters queue up to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting in Texas on Tuesday.

US: Americans are voting early in record numbers with more than 17.8 million casting their ballots already ahead of a presidential election between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump taking place under the shadow of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

And while the result of the White House race will not be known until Election Day on November 3 -- or perhaps much later -- the early vote indications appear to favor the 77-year-old Biden, who has a double-digit lead over Trump in the national polls. Early voting began in Iowa on October 5. As of Thursday more than 325,000 ballots have been cast in the Hawkeye State, according to the US Elections Project of the University of Florida.

The project maintains a running tally of in-person early votes and returned mail ballots. By Thursday afternoon a total of 17.8 million ballots had been cast in the states that report early totals. Election experts point to the COVID-19 crisis and an expansion of voting by mail for the surge in early voting, which is on a pace to smash the 2016 total of 47 million early votes. Several polls have shown that Democrats are more likely than Republicans to vote early because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the US Elections Project, voters, as of Thursday, have requested 80.69 million mail-in ballots in the states reporting such figures. Of the states that report requests by political party registration, Democrats have requested 23.66 million ballots and Republicans 13.91 million. A total of 2.09 million early votes have been cast in Florida, 1.68 million in California and 1.62 million in Texas, according to the US Elections Project.

Other states with high early vote totals include Michigan (1.3 million), Virginia (1.14 million) and New Jersey (1.14 million).

More than 916,000 early votes have been cast in the southern state of Georgia despite long lines on the first day this week which saw some voters waiting for more than 10 hours.

- AFP