With expanded mail-in voting across the U.S. due to COVID-19 precautions — as well as other options like early in-person voting and ballot drop-off boxes — more votes are coming in early this year than ever before. But just how many more? And will all those early votes turn into record turnout overall once the in-person ballots are cast?
We created a 3D map using Associated Press data to show voter turnout from early votes, which you can see below. We will update it over the course of election night to reflect overall turnout.
A number of states have made early voting easier amid the coronavirus pandemic. New Yorkers, for example, were able to vote early in-person for the first time ever this year. And California automatically sent ballots to all registered voters and placed hundreds more drop-off boxes around the state.
As of 6 p.m. on Election Day, ahead of polls starting to close on the east coast at 7 p.m. ET, the AP data shows early voter turnout is almost double that of 2016 levels. And in some battleground states, early turnout is proving to be even higher than in previous years, with Pennsylvania already reporting 830% of ballots returned compared to 2016, and Wisconsin posting 233% more early votes than in 2016.
The biggest increase in early voting is in Kentucky, where over 12 times the number of votes have already come in compared to early votes four years ago. States that typically have high mail-in rates, like Florida and Colorado, are already on par with their 2016 early votes.
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