On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that voters are casting early ballots in numbers on track to set a historic record — including in some critical battleground states.
“Early-voting counts suggest a record level of civic participation before Election Day. The tens of millions of ballots already cast show highly enthusiastic voters are making sure their votes are counted amid a pandemic,” said the report.
15.8 million people in battleground states have already voted, and in some states, like Michigan and Wisconsin, more people have voted early so far than did in the entire early voting period of 2016. In North Carolina, meanwhile, 2 million ballots have been cast — more than double the same amount at this point in 2016.
Part of this is being driven by the expansion of mail-in voting, spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.
“More voters than ever before can vote by mail this election,” said the report. “While some western states have long conducted their elections by mail, others, such as New Hampshire, are allowing all voters to cast ballots by mail for the first time. Several key states — such as Wisconsin Arizona, and Iowa — greatly expanded mail-in voting, bringing to 12 the number of states that now mail absentee applications to everyone registered.”
“Despite weeks of campaigning and news still to come, the election is actually well underway,” concluded the report. “A large share of Americans have not just made up their minds — they have sealed in their vote.”