|A woman fills out a ballot at a polling station located in the Morgan State University in Baltimore, during early voting in Maryland, US, October 26, 2020. (Photo by=Reuters)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] At least 70 million Americans voted early for the US presidential election, around half the total turnout of the 2016 election with one week to go until Election Day, according to a Tuesday (Oct 28) tally from the US Elections Project.
The tally, which shows a record-breaking pace that could lead to the highest voter turnout in percentage terms in more than a century, is the latest sign of intense interest in the battle between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. It also highlights voters' desire to cut their risk of exposure to COVID-19 as the pandemic gathers strength heading into winter.
Democrats hold a significant advantage in early voting due to their embrace of mail balloting, which Republicans have historically cast in large numbers but have shunned amid repeated and unfounded attacks by Trump, who says the system is prone to widespread fraud. Overall, Democrats hold roughly a two-to-one advantage in early voting numbers. However, Republicans in weeks have narrowed the gap in early, in-person voting, data shows. The high level of early voting has led Michael McDonald, the University of Florida professor who administers the US Elections Project, to predict a record US voter turnout of about 150 million, representing 65% of those eligible to vote, the highest rate since 1908.