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US Election 2020: how many people have voted so far compared to 2016

As voters in the US Presidential Election go to the voting booths today there have already been record numbers of votes recorded, blowing away 2016 early voting.

As voters in the US Presidential Election go to the voting booths today there have already been record numbers of votes recorded, blowing away 2016 early voting.
Michael CiagloAFP

Americans are heading to the polls today, 3 November, to cast their ballot for either Trump or Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election. But before today, and throughout the US where people have been given the opportunity to cast their ballot early, voters had taken to it with zeal.

Follow the live coverage of the US Election 2020 results

USA Elections 2020 results in Pennsylvania: who has won the popular and college vote?

USA Elections 2020 results in Florida: who has won the popular and college vote?

Results in New York: who has won the popular and college vote?

As of the start of 3 November just under 100 million Americans (99,657,079, according to the US Elections Project) have cast a ballot using early voting, far outstripping the 47 plus million that choose to in 2016.

In total in 2016 just under 139 million people in the presidential election that saw Donald Trump win his first term in office.

The race in 2008 between Barack Obama and John McCain saw the highest percentage of voters cast a ballot at 61.6 percent in recent history more than the 60.1 percent that voted in 2016.

According to Michael McDonald of the US Elections Project this year could see over 150 million people go to the polls or over 62 percent participation.

What drove people to vote early this year?

The covid-19 pandemic is most likely the primary factor that drove people to cast their ballot early either through the mail or where available in-person early voting in an attempt to avoid long lines and crowds on Election Day.

This year many states have promoted mail-in ballots and have made it easier to get a no excuse absentee ballot but as Mr. McDonald points out “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” The 'Trump factor' must be taken into consideration due to the intense emotions he appears to stir up in both his followers as well as his detractors.

Where are people voting the most?

By now nearly all states have exceeded 50 percent of the number of ballots cast in the 2016 election. Some states, including Washington (105%) and Texas (108%) have already registered more early votes than the total 2016 turnout. States that didn't hit the 50% mark include New York (43%) and Pennsylvania (39.2%). 

Florida which is a prize both the Biden and Trump camp want to take home has seen nearly 9 million votes cast representing over 93% percent of the ballots in 2016. North Carolina as well is a state that is being watched closely is at 95% percent of the 2016 votes cast.

Who’s winning Trump or Biden?

Not all states report the ballots returned by party affiliation but by those that do, according to the US Elections Project's numbers, the Democrats have the lead at the moment overall. Democrats have returned mail-in ballots at a rate of two to one. This may be due to Republican voters preferring to vote in-person after Trump has spread falsehoods about mail-in ballots being prone to fraud.

Currently where the numbers can be tracked Republicans are voting more in person. However their lead is much slimmer although their numbers are beginning to increase. No matter what they will need to turn out in ever larger numbers on Election Day to make up ground on the advantage Democrats have.


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