As states have started to open up early voting for the Nov. 3 election, a record breaking figure of over 17 million American have already cast their vote.
According to the U.S. Elections Project, over 17 million have cast their ballots already, a figure that represents 12 percent of the total 138 million Americans who voted in the 2016 elections. It's already expected that voter turnout is expected to be on the higher end this election, but states that have opened early voting have already seen numbers double what the early voting figures looked like in 2016.
For example, as per CNN, Florida has seen over two million vote already, far surpassing the 992,584 who voted early in the state in 2016. Michigan also saw a dramatic rise in early voting, going from 369,721 in 2016 to 1,150,224 in 2020. California, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia have also seen over one million votes already cast. "We can be certain this will be a high-turnout election," said University of Florida political scientist Michael McDonald, who spoke about the turnout so far with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"It’s just very different from any other presidential election that any of us have witnessed," Barry Burden, the director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told Huff Post. "There are several forces coming together to make this happen." While it's no doubt early voter turnout was likely boosted due to the coronavirus pandemic, which isn't going away anytime soon, some election experts have indicated there's other factors at play, too.
Videos showing lines across North Carolina and Georgia illustrate how eager some are to cast their vote, especially with Donald Trump appearing more unhinged than ever.
The early voting line in Suwanee this morning was INSANE. pic.twitter.com/c9XDtnIFjU— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) October 12, 2020