Monday, September 28, 2020
University of Florida professor Michael McDonald: After a historic week of early voting in the United States, it is time to take stock of where we are. Sundays are typically a slow day for states to report early voting activity, which gives me a moment to reflect on the prior week. The headline is the jaw-dropping number of people who have already voted. At least 944,114 people have voted in the 2020 general election. I use the phrase "at least" because the true number is likely higher because I do not have complete reports for all states. Some states currently voting will eventually provide reports, but even among the reporting states some local election offices are clearly lagging on their reporting. An initial reporting delay is common, so there is no cause for concern that something nefarious is afoot. In states where early voting statistics are managed at the local level - like Alabama and Missouri - it will require calling local election offices to collect their numbers, something I have not contemplated, yet. Nearly a million voters this far in advance of an election has never occurred in any American election. Period. Around this time in 2016, I noted only 9,525 people had voted. These 2016 data were drawn from North Carolina. To provide an exact update, the total number of 2016 North Carolina voters the same number days before the election is 12,370 (as of September 27, 2020). Three Factors Accounting for the Dramatic Early Voting Increase
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