Record avalanche of early voting changes elections in 2020 – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2020-10-16 20:54:00 –

Over 22 million Americans have already voted in the 2020 elections. This was a record avalanche of early voting caused by both democratic enthusiasm and a pandemic, and changed the way people vote.

The 22.2 million votes submitted as of Friday night represent 16% of all votes cast in the 2016 presidential election. However, eight states have not yet reported the total, and voters still have to vote for at least two weeks. By rushing to vote for Americans, election experts could cast a record 150 million votes and turnout could be higher than any presidential election since 1908. I predict.

“It’s crazy,” said Michael McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida who has long followed his vote on the site ElectProject.org. According to McDonald’s analysis, there are about 10 times more voters than at this point in 2016.

“I’m sure this will be a turnout election,” McDonald’s said.

So far, Democrats have voted 2: 1 for Republicans in 42 of the Associated Press counts, with turnout biased. Republicans have supported this early Democratic dominance for months, seeing President Donald Trump oppose mail voting and expressing unfounded concerns about fraud. Polls, and now early voting, suggest that rhetoric has moved his party’s ranks and files away from the voting methods that traditionally dominated weeks before the election day.

This gives the Democrats a tactical advantage in the final stages of the campaign. In many important fierce battle states, Democrats “deposit” most of their voters in banks, allowing them to turn their time and money to those who are hard to find.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Democratic Party will lead the vote by the time the vote is counted. Both parties anticipate a surge in Republican votes on election day, which could dramatically change the dynamics in the coming hours.

“The number of Republicans will increase,” said GOP pollster John Cubilon, who is tracking early voting. “What speed and when is the problem?”

Mr Cubilon said the Democrats couldn’t take control of the vote, but the Republicans themselves were making big bets. Many factors, from increased viral infections to weather, can affect turnout directly on election days. “If you spend all your faith in voting for the day, that’s a really high risk,” said Cubilon.

Therefore, despite Trump’s rhetoric, his campaign and party encourages their own voters to vote by mail or early in person. The campaign, which has sent volunteers and staff to the scene for months despite the pandemic, advertises a surge in voter registration in major swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania. This is a sharp reversal from the usual pattern of the impending presidential election.

However, absentee ballot sales have had limited success. In major swing states, Republicans are less interested in postal voting.

In Pennsylvania, more than three-quarters of the more than 437,000 votes mailed so far came from the Democratic Party. In Florida, half of all votes mailed so far came from Democrats, and less than one-third from Republicans. Ballots are mailed to all voters, and even in Colorado, where Republicans usually dominate the first week of voting, only 19% of the returned ballots come from Republicans.

“It’s all encouraging, but three weeks is a lifetime,” said Democratic data strategist Tom Bonier about early voting. “We may be in the middle of the first quarter, and Democrats have put some points on the board.”

Massive votes were cast without fierce skirmishes at polling stations, feared by some activists and law enforcement officers. 100,000 false mail votes in New York and 50,000 in Columbus, Ohio, delaying vendors supplying that state and Pennsylvania to vote in response to overwhelming demand It is characterized by an error that attracts attention, such as accusing it. However, there is little evidence of the massive turmoil some people were afraid of, as election offices had to shift suddenly to deal with the influx of early voting.

However, in Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina, early voting began, resulting in extraordinary queues and hours of waiting time. Delays are primarily the result of inadequate resources to handle spikes, and what proponents claim is a form of voter oppression.

Republicans argue that these signs of enthusiasm are meaningless — Democratic early voters are those who would have voted anyway, they say. However, according to an AP analysis of early voting, 8% of early voters have never voted, and 13.8% have voted in less than half of previous elections.

The data also show that voters are adopting postal voting. Health officials say this is the safest way to avoid coronavirus infection during voting. Of the early voters, 82% voted by mail and 18% voted directly. Black voters cast 10% of their votes, according to an AP analysis of data from political data firm L2. This is about the same as the share of national voters. This shows that voters, who are less likely to vote by mail than whites and Latino Americans, are working hard on this method.

So far, ballot voting has been biased towards older voters, half from voters over the age of 64. Traditionally, young and minority voters send mail votes or vote directly near the election day.

Voting votes already returned in some states have shrunk overall in previous elections. Wisconsin has more than five times as many postal votes as it did in 2016. In North Carolina, nearly three times as many have been seen so far.

Early voting began this week in several major states, breaking records, especially in crowded democratic metropolitan areas. In Texas, 125,000 votes were recorded in Harris County, Houston. In Georgia, there were hours of routes from election offices to many of the state’s urban areas.

39-year-old lawyer and Democrat Tande Ezekiel, who voted early in Atlanta on Thursday, said he was confident that he had a chance to expel Trump from his office. Election day. … and I didn’t want to miss a chance. “

Clear enthusiasm among Democrats cheered on party operatives, but they say it’s hard to say in which direction turnout will eventually fall. Republicans may be similarly motivated, but they are saving themselves for the election day.

“A high turnout benefits both sides,” says Bonnier. “It just depends.”

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