Now that the vast majority of states have started to vote in some form, it’s exciting to see the numbers go up. Let’s take a look.
According to the U.S. Elections Project, which is tracking the early vote nationally, at least 27.9 million people had voted as of Sunday night. That number represents approximately 20% of the total votes cast in 2016. Also, although it’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison, as of this point in 2016, only 5.9 million votes were logged.
When we start to look at the party affiliation of the votes cast, it’s important to note that not all states report their vote totals with party information. As of the last report from the Elections Project, only CA, CO, FL, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, ME, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, OK, PA, SD were reporting party affiliation.
For those 17 states, the party breakdown looks like this:
Minor party 79,188
No party affiliation 2,943,775
Now, what do those numbers mean? We expect that Democrats will far outpace Republicans in the early vote. Is this margin one that is good for the Democrats? We’ll know soon enough.
One big change from previous years, though, is this statistic about mail-in ballots: We do know that in the past, Republicans have requested more absentee ballots AND returned them at a higher rate. But that isn’t the case in 2020. It’s the Democrats who have requested more ballots and returned them at a higher rate. (Yeah!)
Now let’s look at a few key states:
Florida shatters opening day record for early voting Florida cast over 350,000 votes on Monday, the first day of early voting in the state. Mail-in voting, which had started earlier, is also outpacing the 2016 numbers by quite a bit.
Twice as many NC votes now have been cast than this time in 2016 The total number of votes cast in North Carolina so far (including both early voting and absentee) is 1.43 million, which is more than 19% of the state’s registered voters.
Texans have cast more ballots than any other state in 2020 election so far “Texas recorded a total of 4,064,685 ballots cast either in-person or absentee in the 2020 general election… The number makes up 45% of the total turnout in 2016, when more than 9 million votes were cast in Texas.”
So while it remains to be seen if these numbers will be what we need to win the White House and flip the Senate (along with hundreds of other seats we want to flip), the enthusiasm is real. I think we can all feed good that people are turning out to vote, but we can’t fall asleep at the wheel — we really don’t know WHO these voters are voting for yet. Let’s keep getting out the vote!
Get Out the Vote Tip of the Day: Go to the website of a candidate you like and read through their issues page. Write out 1 or 2 things you like most about what they want to achieve in office, and then share them — either on social media or in your conversations with friends and family!
Get the rest of my tips here: 19 Quick Ways to Turn Out the Vote in 2020