Presidential Election – California recorded the largest number of mail-order voting requests with 21 million.
Eric Shawn: They can count the presidential election for days.
Eric Shawn: They can count the presidential vote … for days
31 states don’t start compiling ballots in the mail until election day, so be prepared to wait
Many Americans are voting at the start of the 2020 presidential election out of concern about the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. Postal service calendar.
The nearly 9 million votes cast in total on Saturday already suggest a record turnout for this year’s race, compared to the 75,000 votes cast around the same time in 2016.
“That’s unprecedented in a modern election in the United States,” Elections Project founder and University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald wrote on the project website.
He expects “around 150 million people” to vote in this year’s election, the “highest voter turnout since 1908”.
This number of advance ballots so far represents 6.4% of the total national turnout in 2016. However, some states have registered a higher percentage of early voters.
In South Dakota, over 94,000 ballots were cast on Saturday, 24.9% of the state’s total turnout in 2016. In Wisconsin’s fluctuating state, nearly 650,000 people voted, or 21.7% of the state’s total turnout in 2016. Virginia has registered almost 950,000 votes cast, representing 23.7% of its total turnout in 2016.
Vermont also appeared on Saturday with nearly 80,000 votes cast, accounting for 24.8% of the state’s total ballots in 2016.
By far, Flordia had the highest turnout with nearly 1.4 million votes cast on Friday or 14.3% of its total turnout in 2016.
Swing State Michigan and Minnesota battlefield state also recorded hundreds of thousands of ballots: Michigan with more than 844,000 to date, 17.3 percent of its 2016 ballot count, and Minnesota with more than 635,000, or 21.4% of the votes in 2016.
McDonald said he “expected some things to be different since states changed their laws” to accommodate voters during the pandemic. McDonald added that “it is expected that 70 million ballots by post [should] be sent to voters” before November 3.
“People did not have to take advantage of this,” he said of mail-in ballots and early voting. But a lot of people have already done it.
Ballot data is not available for much of the west coast, including California and Arizona, and some East Coast states, including New York. However, California has registered the highest number of postal ballot requests with nearly 21.5 million, compared to the 5.5 million in Florida on Saturday. Voters in Washington state have demanded 4.6 million primary ballots.
An employee of the Philadelphia Commissioners’ Office examines the ballots at a satellite polling station at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia. Democrats have applied for more than 22.2 million votes. At the same time, Republicans requested nearly 13 million – a request for more than 9 million ballots based on data from the states that registered parties, including California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Flordia, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
However, a party’s voting requests may not be an accurate indicator of final election results, McDonald’s Frequently Asked Questions page on the election project website.
“Just because registered Democrats are leading Republicans in early voting, that does not mean the Republicans will not make up ground on Election Day,” McDonald wrote, adding that “registered Democrats typically lead Republicans during early voting, and Republicans vote on Election Day, a pattern that persists across many states and elections.”
McDonald’s shared two possible scenarios for this year’s voters’ outcome.
“The first is that many voters…have successfully flattened the curve on mail-in ballots, meaning election officials will be able to process ballots more accurately,” he said. “The typical pattern is: We usually don’t see this rush at the beginning…early voting numbers are small and pick up closer to Election Day.”
The second scenario, he said, is the U.S. “following a typical pattern, and as Election Day appears, we’ll see the unprecedented [in-person] turnout for the election.”
Colorado, Oregon, Washington, California, DC, Hawai’i, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Utah have mailed ballots to all registered voters as an alternative to personal voting during the COVID-19 crisis.