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Record early vote favors Dems – but will it be enough?

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 10 / 19 / 2020

With 19 days left until Nov. 3, a record 18 million ballots have already been cast in 43 states. That is a record.

Keep it up.

On the first day of voting in Harris County, Texas, more than 130,000 people voted. This was a record, and it was in spite of — or perhaps because of — Governor Abbott’s nakedly cynical decree of allowing only one drop-box per county (Harris carries a population of 4.7 million).

Keep it up.

In 2016, the turnout rate was 55.5 percent; a total of 136.7 million Americans voted. This year, Michael McDonald of the US Elections Project forecasts 150 million Americans will vote. Early numbers back up his prediction. This would be a turnout of 65 percent — the highest rate since the election of 1908.

Keep it up.

In 2016 in Wisconsin, 146,000 voters cast their ballots by mail. Already this fall, more than 650,000 Cheesheads have voted. In the Democratic stronghold of Dane County, which includes Madison, the number of early votes as of Oct. 10 was over 36 percent of total votes cast in the county in ’16.

Keep it up.

In the first week of early voting in Ohio, ballots cast have tripled from 64,312 in 2016 to 193,021.

Keep it up.

In the Tar Heel State, of the 500,000 North Carolinians who’ve already voted, 20 percent of them are voters who didn’t show up four years ago.

Keep it up.

Over the last four years, more than 2 million voters have been newly registered in the Lone Star State.

Keep it up.

In Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the early vote has already surpassed 20 percent of the total number of votes cast in each state in 2016.

Keep it up.

Of the 3.5 million early votes in the six states where partisan breakdowns of voters get released (Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Florida, and Maine), a Washington Post analysis reveals that Democratic ballots are outnumbering Republicans by approximately 2-1.

Three out of four ballots returned so far in PA are Democratic.

Keep it up.

Thus far in Virginia, where early voting has been going on for five weeks, more than 1.6 million votes have been cast. That total is more than three times the number of Virginians who voted early or by mail in the entire 2016 election.


A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken in early October indicated that 58 percent of Democrats said they’d be voting early versus 40 percent of GOP voters.

As well, over the last several months, Republican voter registration has outpaced the Democrats in Florida (195,652-98,362), Pennsylvania (135,619-57,985), and North Carolina (83,785-38,137).

That’s why folks who oppose Donald Trump need to keep it up. Nothing can be taken for granted. Early voters in Georgia have set the pace by waiting out the lines this week for more than 12 hours (tragically) to make their voices heard. On their first day, Georgians set a new record by 30,000 ballots when more than 120,000 of them cast votes.

Once the polls close on Nov. 3, there will be a colossal battle — both in terms of logistics and public relations — to ensure that Americans patiently wait until every last ballot is accurately counted. And a new $20 million media campaign has now officially launched — “Count Every Vote” — to further that goal.

But the imperative right now and for the next 19 days is to cast every vote. If you haven’t made your own plan, make one. If you still want to volunteer as a poll observer, sign up.

Things are moving in the right direction. But there’s a marathon to go. So keep it up.


Michael Golden is the author of Unlock Congress and is a Senior Fellow at the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy.