Early Voter Turnout Breaks Records Across the Country

While the election is tomorrow, a record number of Americans have already voted early.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
Image via Ali Shaker/VOA and Michael Vadon

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

This election, more Americans than ever are voting early—and early voting has especially surged among Latino voters, who could play a significant role in the outcome of this election.

According to the Washington Post, at least 41 million Americans had already voted as of Sunday morning. Once all the votes are counted, the number is expected to pass the 2012 election, in which more than 46 million voted before Election Day.

Early voting, whether in-person or by mail, is offered in 37 states and the District of Columbia.


In 2012, about a third of all votes were cast before Election Day, compared to only 11 percent in 1996. Increases of non-traditional Election Day voting are being seen around the country:

Nearly 800,000 absentee votes already cast in WI. That shatters record set in 2012: 664,597. Dane Co. (Madison) early vote is 160% of 2012.

— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) November 7, 2016

But states with significant Hispanic populations are especially seeing surges, which is likely good news for Hillary Clinton, as some estimates suggest that Clinton could win nearly 80 percent of the Latino vote. 

In Texas, more than 4 million Texans, a record-breaking figure, have already voted in the 15 counties with the largest voting age population, according to the Austin American-Statesman

According to the Arizona Republic, over a third of registered voters in Arizona have already voted—and 13 percent of those ballots were cast by Latinos, up from 8 percent in 2008.

ABC News reports that early voting turnout among Hispanics in Nevada could help Clinton as well. Colorado has seen an increase in Latino early voting too, according to the Washington Post.

Florida looks good for Clinton as well. CNN reports: "At this point in 2008, 260,263 Latino voters, or 9.6% of the electorate, voted early. So far in 2016, that number has grown to 596,146, or 14.1% of all early ballots cast."

FL #earlyvote Race change vs 2012 via @electionsmith
Afr-Am +70.6K (+9.2%)
Hisp +453.8K (+86.9%)
White +900K (+27.2%)
Other +121.5K (+48.3%)

— Michael McDonald (@ElectProject) November 7, 2016

Florida #earlyvote update 11/4 (reg Reps lead Dems by 1,833 votes out of 5,267,750 votes cast, or +.03%) pic.twitter.com/d9kX0HdKYT

— Michael McDonald (@ElectProject) November 4, 2016

While the state has a much smaller Latino population, Georgia is seeing surges too. According to CNN, 12,933 Latinos, or 0.9 percent of early voters, cast early ballots in 2012; this year, 31,623 Latinos, or 1.7 percent of early voters, cast early ballots.

It's a similar story for North Carolina: 21,474 Latinos (1.2 percent of all early voters) voted early in 2012; 37,591 Latinos voted this year, making up 1.8 percent of early voters. While North Carolina had record early voting turnout this election, voter turnout among African Americans actually dropped:

Something went very wrong for African-Americans' voting in North Carolina pic.twitter.com/ZpwjyEavmd

— Michael McDonald (@ElectProject) November 6, 2016

With that said, the drop can likely be attributed to efforts by North Carolina Republicans to suppress voters. Earlier this year, a court ruled that voting restrictions in North Carolina "target African Americans with almost surgical precision." Unfortunately, the efforts seem to have succeeded, as only 688,000 black voters voted early this year in North Carolina, compared to 754,000 in 2012, according to NBC News. 

Overall, the early voter turnout numbers look good for the Clinton campaign, but the election is far from over. You can still vote tomorrow, Nov. 8.

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