The United States Elections Project says that the number of ballots turned in on Saturday was more than the 39.1 million votes cast in 2018. This year’s number will be higher because election officials are still getting ballots in the mail, and some states let people vote early in person until the weekend. As of Sunday morning, more than 39.2 million early votes had been cast.
Former President Donald Trump and his allies have been against early voting, especially vote-by-mail programmes. This has caused some Republicans in some states to stop doing something they have done for decades. This opposition seems to have been cancelled out because there are now more chances to vote early.
“We have been on an upward trajectory of early voting from election to election, and that is because states are offering early voting more frequently or more expansively,” said Michael McDonald, a political scientist from the University of Florida who oversees the elections project. McDonald’s is in charge of monitoring the progress of early voting.
The number of people voting early in elections has been steadily growing. According to McDonald, approximately 31 per cent of ballots were cast in 2014 via early voting methods such as voting by mail or at early voting venues. In 2018, it reached almost forty per cent. He anticipates that early ballots will account for a higher share of the total this year.
The years that have previous midterm elections, such as 2014 and 2018, are the most significant years to compare this year to. According to McDonald, early voting increases during presidential years in raw numbers and as a share of the total vote cast. Early voting played an especially important role in the presidential election of 2020 when voters turned out to vote by mail in historic numbers due to concerns about the coronavirus.
Georgia voters — if you still have your mail-in ballot, remember that you must return them in person.
Hand-deliver your ballot to your county’s Board of Elections office tomorrow or before 7 PM on Election Day. Find the locations and hours here. https://t.co/sYZtefSuOt
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) November 7, 2022
Citizens of the United States cast more than 100 million early votes in that election, which is more than twice as many as in the previous presidential election in 2016.
A wide variety of circumstances influences changes in voting behaviour. More voters are familiar with how to vote early due to their experiences in the 2020 election, and they may choose to continue the practice.
Now that vaccines are readily available to the general public, some people may be more inclined to vote on Election Day. And the arguments that Trump and his associates have made against early voting could sway some voter’s decisions regarding when they cast their ballots.
In the meantime, the regulations governing early voting are being revised in several jurisdictions. In contrast to the situation in 2018, the states of California, Nevada, Vermont, and the District of Columbia are now automatically distributing ballots to every registered voter, while the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania are now providing no-excuse voting by mail.
Other states’ regulatory frameworks have become more stringent. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin issued an order prohibiting the use of vote drop boxes in the state during the summer of 2018. Last month, the Supreme Court of Delaware issued a ruling upholding a lower court finding outlawed no-excuse absentee voting in that state.
LIVE: I’m in Westchester County, New York, getting out the vote for Democrats right before Election Day. With two days left, there is so much at stake. Tune in.https://t.co/4HGhTLruKX
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 6, 2022
This year, some Republicans have urged voters to hold onto their postal ballots until the very last moment, making it difficult to determine the total number of early votes that will ultimately be handed in. Every election cycle, millions of eligible voters request absentee ballots but never submit them. This could be because they choose not to vote at all or because they vote in person instead.
In the current election cycle, approximately 20 million votes have been cast in 19 states that allow voter registration to be done based on party identification. This information provides insight into who is voting early.
In those states, voters who are registered as Democrats have cast 43 per cent of the early ballots, voters who are registered as Republicans have cast 34 per cent, and voters who are unaffiliated or belong to a third party have cast 23 per cent of the early votes.
The 19 states include states that lean substantially Democratic, like California, states that lean heavily Republican, like Oklahoma, and says that is considered to be in the political centre, like Pennsylvania.
The number of voters who cast their ballots early varies from state to state. 5.5 million early ballots were cast by Texans, which is an increase over the 4.9 million cast in 2018. On Sunday morning, 2.1 million early votes were cast in North Carolina, significantly more than in 2018.
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