About 47.5 million ballots have already been cast in the U.S. presidential election, data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project shows.
This is about eight times the number of early votes cast at this same time in 2016, Reuters reports. That year, more than 47.2 million early votes were eventually cast.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic and safety concerns, more people are using mail-in ballots or taking advantage of early in-person voting. University of Florida Prof. Michael McDonald administers the U.S. Elections Project, and he predicts there will be a record turnout of 150 million — the highest rate since 1908. This would represent 65 percent of all eligible voters.
FiveThirtyEight is projecting something similar — forecasting that the total election turnout will be 154 million, with an 80th percentile range between 144 million and 165 million. In 2016, turnout was 137 million. "The primary ingredient in our turnout estimate is polls that ask people whether they're more or less enthusiastic about voting than usual, and those polls are showing record levels of enthusiasm," editor-in-chief Nate Silver tweeted.