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Early votes in the US account for over 50% of votes that were cast in the entire 2016 presidential election


Voters in line to cast early ballots at Philadelphia City Hall in Philadelphia.

Mark Makela/Getty Images


Early voting in the US presidential election has been robust since it began a few weeks ago, but it just passed a critical milestone.

As of Tuesday, at least 69.4 million ballots had been cast in the general election, according to Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political-science professor who runs the US Elections Project.

This figure would represent over half the number of votes (50.8%) cast in the entire 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. That year, 136,669,276 votes were cast, according to the Federal Elections Commission.

—Michael McDonald (@ElectProject) October 27, 2020

Combined with Election Day votes, the rising number of early votes could represent a historic turnout once all the ballots are counted, rivaling the turnout of the 1908 US presidential election, which hit 65% of the eligible US population.

Here are the three states with the highest early-voting totals so far, based on data from the US Elections Project:

  • Texas leads the way with 7,803,590 ballots cast.
  • California has the second-highest total, with 7,402,302 ballots cast.
  • Florida has the third-highest level, with 6,427,773 ballots cast.

Texas has voted for the Republican presidential nominee since 1980, but this year multiple polls have indicated a close race between Trump and his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.

The state has long had low voter-turnout levels in its elections, but a mix of changing demographics and infrequent or first-time voters showing up in 2020 has changed the calculus of predicting the winner of the Lone Star State, according to The Guardian.

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More:

Early Voting
absentee ballot
mail-in voting
Presidential election

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