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The US election 2020 will take place on Tuesday, November 3 pitching incumbent US President Donald Trump against Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Early voting in the USA is underway and enables people to vote in-person at early voting stations or by absentia which is with postal ballots. Express.co.uk explores how many votes have been cast and what it means for the election result.
What is early voting in the US?
Early voting measures are popular in several countries.
In-person early voting is common in Canada and Finland, whereas postal votes are popular in the UK, Germany and Switzerland.
In the US early voting enables people to cast their ballots by post or in person before election day on November 3.
Some form of early voting is in effect in all 50 states around the country with record numbers of people turning out to vote ahead of time this year.
In total, more than 64 million people have cast their votes early including the 45th US leader who cast his own vote early in Florida on Saturday morning.
According to the US Elections Project, a total of 64,714,357 early votes have been cast at the time of writing.
Of those, more than 43m are postal ballots and more than 20 million are in-person votes.
This turnout is more than five million ahead of the total number of early voters in 2016.
Where has early voting been most popular?
Early voting has been most popular in Texas, California and Florida according to the US Elections Project.
The state with the highest number of voters so far is California which has had 7,402,302 votes so far.
This is followed by Texas with 7,387,270 votes and Florida with 6,018,430 votes.
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The total votes by party registration are as follows:
- Democrats: 48.9 percent
- Republicans: 28.4 percent
- Minor: 0.6 percent
- No Party Affiliation: 22.1 percent.
More than five million early voters in 2020 are aged 18 to 29 according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).
This compares to just 46 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds in 2016.
In Florida, North Carolina, Maine, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, early votes cast by youth have already exceeded the 2016 margin of victory in that state’s presidential race.
In total, around two million of these young votes were cast in the 14 battleground states.
Is the election decided?
The most obvious way an increase in early voting could impact the election is by driving up overall turnout.
Professor Michael McDonald, who runs the US Elections Project, told Reuters news agency that he predicts that a record 150 million people could vote in this election.
This would account for around 65 percent of eligible voters in the country representing the highest turnout by percentage since 1908.
So far the postal ballots show a leaning towards a Democrat majority, however, this is not always a reliable indicator of the election outcome.
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