Almost 2.7M people have already voted in general election: analysis

Associated Press/Andrew Harnik
Kenneth Kohut fills out his ballot at an early voting location in Alexandria, Va., Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.

About 2.69 million people have already cast ballots in November’s midterm elections, according to the United States Elections Project.

The project, which is managed by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald, tracked early voting activity in 26 states that have reported data so far.

Most of the reported votes — 2.35 million — involved mail ballots, while an additional roughly 338,000 people have voted early in person. 

McDonald’s analysis also indicates nearly 16.84 million people have requested mail ballots, with most still yet to be returned.

About 122 million people voted in the 2018 midterm elections, the highest turnout of any congressional election since at least 1978, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Among the 14 states that reported data with voters’ party registrations, which comprises about 56 percent of the total ballots reported to have been cast nationwide, a majority of voters were registered Democrats. About 31 percent were registered Republicans.

The disparity comes following former President Trump and some other Republicans’ repeated attacks of voting by mail, which have often been made in connection with unfounded claims of mass electoral fraud.

Many states expanded mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, and multiple states have made those temporary measures permanent.

Republican legislatures in states like Florida and Texas, however, have enacted new voting laws strengthening voter ID and other requirements. 

Republicans boast those laws as improving election integrity, but Democrats view the restrictions as needlessly disenfranchising voters.

Florida has reported the most early voters out of any state, with about 733,000 ballots cast as of late Monday morning. 

The state has not yet begun in-person voting, meaning all of the ballots cast so far were done through the mail. Election officials could begin sending mail ballots late last month.

Meanwhile, in Texas, the only state with a larger population than Florida that has reported voting data, about 67,000 people have cast ballots. In-person early voting similarly has not begun there.

Initial early voting numbers soared in Georgia, where voters are deciding closely watched gubernatorial and Senate races.

On Monday, the first day of early voting in the Peach State, election officials recorded 131,318 ballots cast in person, compared to 70,849 cast on the first day in the 2018 midterm elections.

Georgia’s Senate election is seen as one of a few key races that could determine control of the chamber.

Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) is facing a stiff challenge from former NFL star Herschel Walker (R). Polls have shown the two candidates neck-and-neck with Election Day just three weeks away.

Tags 2022 midterms 2022 midterms Donald Trump Early voting Early voting Michael McDonald voter turnout

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