The Number of Early Votes Cast Surpasses the Early-vote Total in the 2018 Midterm Election

Early Votes Cast Surpasses: After voting early on November 5 at the Fiserv Forum arena in Milwaukee, Mayor Cavalier Johnson proudly displays his “I Voted Early” sticker on his 4-year-old daughter Bella. For The Washington Post, Sara Stathas

All the Talk About Votes Already Cast Exceeds

Americans have cast more ballots before Election Day than they did during early voting before the last midterm election. This is part of a trend of more and more people voting early, even though some Republicans are against it. The United States Elections Project says that as of Saturday, voters had cast more than 39 million ballots, which is more than the number of early votes in 2018.

This year’s number will be higher because election officials are still getting ballots in the mail, and some states let people vote early in person until the weekend. Former President Donald Trump and his allies have been against early voting, especially vote-by-mail programs. This has caused some Republicans in some states to stop doing something they have done for decades. This opposition seems to have been canceled out by the fact that there are now more chances to vote early.

“Early voting has been going up from election to election, and that’s because states are offering it more often or in more places,” said Michael McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida who is in charge of the elections project. Early voting has been on the rise for a long time. McDonald said that in 2014, about 31% of votes were cast by mail or at early voting sites. In 2018, it went up to about 40%. He thinks that more people will vote early this year.

This year’s midterm elections are most like the ones in 2014 and 2018. McDonald said that both the number of people who vote early and the share of the total vote are higher in presidential years. In 2020, when people were worried about the coronavirus, they turned to mail voting in record numbers. This made early voting even more important. In that election, 101.5 million early votes were cast, which is more than twice as many as in the 2016 election.

Early Votes Cast Surpasses

Changes in voting habits are caused by several things. After what they learned in 2020, more voters know how to vote early and may continue to do so. Now that vaccines are easy to get, some people may be more likely to vote on Election Day. And Trump and his supporters’ arguments against early voting could make some people decide not to vote.

While that is going on, the rules for early voting are changing in some places. This election, unlike the last one in 2018, is being held entirely by mail in California, Nevada, Vermont, and the District of Columbia. Michigan and Pennsylvania are also now letting people vote by mail without giving a reason.

Some states have made their rules stricter. This summer, the Wisconsin Supreme Court banned ballot drop boxes in that state, and last month, the Delaware Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that stopped absentee voting without a reason.

This year, some Republicans have told voters to keep their mail-in ballots until the last possible moment. This makes it hard to predict how many early ballots will be turned in at the end. Every election, millions of people ask for absentee ballots that they never turn in, either because they don’t vote or because they decide to vote at the polls instead.

Nearly 20 million votes have been cast in this election cycle in the 19 states that let people register to vote based on which party they belong to. This shows who is voting early. So far, 43% of the early votes in these states have come from people who are registered as Democrats, 34% from Republicans, and 23% from people who are not registered with either a major party or a third party.

Some of the 19 states are mostly Democratic, like California, while others are mostly Republican, like Oklahoma, and some, like Pennsylvania, are in the middle. Each state has different rules about who can vote early. In North Carolina, almost 2 million people voted early, the same number as in 2018.

This fall, the number of people who voted early in person in Georgia started much higher than in 2018, but then it started to look more like the last midterm. As of Saturday, there had been a total of 2.5 million early votes cast in Georgia, up from 2.1 million in 2018.

5.5 million early votes were cast in Texas, up from 4.9 million in 2018.

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