Early voting for U.S election surges with final nine days to cast ballot

With just nine days to go before the U.S Presidential Election on November 3, more than 60 million citizens have already cast in their ballots, and close to two million more than the 2016 Presidential pre-election.

High voter turn-out has been registered in two key “swing” states – South Carolina and Texas – especially among younger voters aged 18 to 29. The recent surge in voting is also attributed to Americans preferring the mail-in-ballot to overcrowded polling stations given the coronavirus pandemic. According to CNN, Edison Research and Catalist data, voters aged 65 or older “have seen the greatest decline in their share of the early vote.”

Democrats lead with the early vote, but Republicans have begun to push voters ahead of November 3 to narrow the gap between incumbent President Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The Associated Press’ Advance Voting site offers a state-by-state interactive guide on voting deadlines, postmark requirements and mail receipt dates. Most state boards have deemed COVID-19 a valid excuse to present an absentee ballot, despite President’s Trump claims of mail-voting fraud.

Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut and Virginia are some of the states where early voting has surpassed 300% of those cast in 2016. Florida and California have so far registered fewer early voters – 76% each – of the 2016 campaign. High early voting numbers signify that a great majority of the electorate have made a decision regarding the two candidates, giving each campaign just over a week to reign in undecided voters.

Considered one of the most transcendental elections for the United States in recent years, U.S citizens residing overseas can also request a ballot from the non-partisan platform Abroad.org that offers detailed information on how to request a ballot in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and territories. The platform also provides assistance to eligible voters in the military, merchant marines and their families. To access the platform visit: votefromabroad.org