World As Georgia Sees Record Early Voter Turnout, Poll Shows 77 Percent Plan to Cast Election Ballots in Person
More than 9 Million People Have Already Voted in 2020 Election—Six Times More Than at the Same Time in 2016
Since 2004, there's been a steady increase in the number of people who cast their ballots before Election Day, and 2020 is shaping up to be no exception. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, states have increased availability for mail-in ballots and extended early voting to give voters more opportunities to cast ballots. As of Sunday, 9.3 million votes had been cast in the 2020 election, compared to 1.4 million in 2016, according to the U.S. Elections Project. In five states—Minnesota, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin—early voting has already surpassed their total 2016 vote by 20 percent or more. Since Sunday, the U.S.
After Georgia's first week of early voting drew hundreds of thousands to overloaded polling sites throughout the state, new data shows 77 percent of likely voters plan to cast ballots in-person ahead of the general election.
Results of a survey conducted by the New York Times and Sienna College, which collected responses from 759 likely Georgia voters between October 13 and 19, suggested a majority of participants who had not yet voted aimed to do so in-person. While 18 percent of individuals surveyed said they planned to submit mail-in ballots, 45 percent said they intended to vote in-person during Georgia's designated early voting period, and 32 percent said they would vote in-person on Election Day.
Americans voting early in record numbers in presidential election
Americans are voting early in record numbers with more than 17 million casting their ballots already ahead of the November 3 election between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump. Of the states that report requests by political party registration, Democrats have requested 23.46 million ballots and Republicans 13.69 million. A total of 2.09 million early votes have been cast in Florida, 1.68 million in California and 1.62 million in Texas, according to the US Elections Project.Other states with high early vote totals include Michigan (1.19 million), Virginia (1.14 million) and New Jersey (1.04 million).
Of those who already voted—early voting began in Georgia on October 12, and will continue through October 30—slightly more than half of the survey's respondents said they voted by mail. Another 45 percent said they previously cast ballots in-person.
The Times/Sienna College survey detailing Georgia's voter preferences was distributed amid surging turnout at the state's in-person polling stations. Multiple reports of stalled lines outside in-person early voting sites circulated last week, when an influx of hopeful voters overwhelmed the state's online system and subsequently caused delays.
The latest early voting statistics released by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's office indicated Georgia voters are opting to cast ballots early, both in-person and via mail, at rates much higher than they were in 2016. However, unlike many other U.S. states where surging early voter participation is primarily due to large quantities of mail-in ballots returned to election offices, most Georgia voters are casting ballots during the state's in-person early voting period.
Latest Mail-In Ballot Controversies Fact-Checked and Explained
The topic of mail-in voting has been a point of focus and controversy throughout the 2020 election season. President Donald Trump has consistently "warned" Americans about the dangers and frauds that are attached to mail-in voting through the use of false information and the distortion of the mail-in voting practice. © Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty A woman holds up a mail-in ballot during the Massachusetts state primary on September 1 in Boston. On the other hand, Democrats have expressed their belief in Trump's motivation to depress voter turnout rather than to prevent voter fraud.
By Tuesday, more than 1 million Georgia voters had cast election ballots at in-person locations. The state has collected nearly 1.7 million ballots overall, including those returned by mail. Georgia's early voter turnout to date during the current election cycle represented a 142 percent increase compared to numbers recorded at this time in 2016.
The Times/Sienna College survey additionally tracked participants' support for this year's presidential nominees, Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. The nominees were deadlocked at 45 percent support from respondents, answering a survey question that inquired about their favored candidate should the election take place at the time they submitted their responses. According to the Times, those figures were identical to the results of another survey conducted among likely Georgia voters last month.
The October survey reflected a shift in support for Trump among white, college-educated participants, 52 percent of whom said they would vote to re-elect the president for a second term. That statistic gave Trump a 12-point lead over Biden among the subgroup, although it reflected a 5-point decline in support for the Republican nominee since he was first elected. Fifty-seven percent of respondents who identified as white and college-educated said they supported Trump during the 2016 election.
After 11 days, Georgia's second largest — and most diverse — county has seen a 238% increase in early voting compared to 2016 .
As of Monday, October 26, more than 2.7 million voters statewide had cast ballots - two-thirds the total number of votes in 2016. But within that number, few have noticed that Gwinnett county, Georgia's most diverse, is showing the greatest increase in early, in-person votes so far this election, when compared to the same period four years ago. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Duluth, Ga. â€" Nabeel and Nazley Saleheen had just finished casting their ballots at Shorty Howell Park, one of nine early voting locations scattered throughout Gwinnett County, Georgia, on Sunday afternoon.