The US early vote exceeds 70 million and continues historical pace


More than 70 million Americans have voted in the U.S. presidential election, more than half of the total turnout in the 2016 election with a week left until election day, according to a Tuesday temperature from the U.S. election project.

The count, which shows a record-breaking pace that could lead to the highest turnout in percent in more than a century, is the latest sign of intense interest in the competition between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. It also highlights voters’ desire to reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19 as the pandemic regains strength heading into winter.

Democrats have a significant advantage in early voting because of their embrace of vote by mail, which Republicans have historically cast in large numbers but have avoided repeated and unfounded attacks from Trump, who says the system is prone to widespread fraud.

Overall, Democrats have about a two-to-one advantage in the number of early votes. However, in recent weeks, Republicans have narrowed the gap in early voting, data show.

The high level of early voting has led Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida in charge of the US election project, to predict a record turnout in the United States of about 150 million, representing 65% of the electorate, the highest rate since 1908

U.S. voters have already cast far more early votes during this presidential campaign than they did throughout 2016 when they passed the 47 million mark earlier this month, data show.