People wait to cast their ballots during early voting at a community center October 25 in Potomac, Maryland, two weeks ahead of the key midterm polls.

People wait to cast their ballots during early voting at a community center October 25 in Potomac, Maryland, two weeks ahead of the key midterm polls.

Record numbers of Americans have voted early this year.

Millions have not wasted any time attending to their civic duty. From The New York Times

Turnout has surged among Republicans, Democrats and independents. As of Friday morning, more than 13 Americans had voted early, according to data compiled by Michael McDonald, a professor of political science at the University of Florida who studies elections.

“If these patterns persist, we could see a turnout rate at least equaling the turnout rate in 1966, which was 48 percent, and if we beat that then you have to go all the way back to 1914, when the turnout rate was 51 percent,” he said. “We could be looking at a turnout rate that virtually no one has ever experienced.”

What does that mean for candidates like Democrat Beto O’Rourke? Polls show him behind incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz? Is there a particular party who tends to turn out early?

McDonald also spoke to U.S. News:

McDonald sees better signs for Democrats elsewhere, particularly in Georgia, where Democrat Stacey Abrams is vying with Republican Brian Kemp to become the first female African-American governor in the country. Because there’s no party registration in the Peach State, a more telling indicator is to examine ballot returns by race.

And the early statistics show African-Americans are returning ballots at a higher rate than 2014; they already make up 30 percent of the vote. White turnout is also up in Georgia, although not as dramatically.

One Georgia voter, James Moy, live-streamed his two-hour journey over a mountain in Costa Rica to mail his absentee ballot. “The reason I’m doing this is because if you’re on the fence about voting on the day of because it’s, like, a little inconvenient and you don’t feel like driving to the polling location, just think about the fact that I’m walking two hours from the rainforest to the post office,” Moy says.

Are you voting early? If you have, what made you head to the polls ahead of schedule? What issues felt particularly compelling for you? And if you’re not voting, why not? Tell us at 855-236-1212 or 1a@wamu.org, or use our app, 1A VoxPop.

Guests

  • David Barker Director, Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University; @barkerccps

Topics + Tags

Most Recent Shows