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A record number of voters voted before election day on November 3, US election officials said.
More than 22 million Americans voted early by Oct. 16, in person or by mail, according to the U.S. election bill.
At the same time, about 6 million votes were cast in the 2016 contest.
Experts say the increase in early voting is linked to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led many to look for alternatives to election day.
On October 13, Texas, a state that has relatively strict limits on who can qualify for postal voting, set a record for most ballots cast on the first day of early voting.
On October 12, the federal holiday of Columbus Day, officials in Georgia announced 126,876 votes cast – also a state record.
In Ohio, a crucial variable state, more than 2.3 million ballots were requested, doubling the number in 2016.
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Reports show that registered Democrats have so far outnumbered registered Republicans, giving more than twice the number of ballots. And of these early-voting Democrats, women and black Americans vote in particularly large numbers. Some were motivated by hostility to President Donald Trump, while others were fueled by racial justice protests in the summer following the police assassination of George Floyd in Minnesota.
However, this early advantage does not mean that Democrats can now claim victory. Republicans, who say mail voting is vulnerable to fraud, say Democrats can win early voting, but that Republicans will show up in large numbers on election day.
According to a 2017 study by the Brennan Justice Center, the rate of fraud with voting in the US is between 0.00004% and 0.0009%.
The huge number of voters led to long queues, with some people waiting until 11 a.m. to be able to vote.
Younger people, who have historically been difficult to choose, appear to be in greater numbers this year. The youth vote may be the highest since 2008 to elect Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States.
A recent Axios poll found that four out of ten students at the university said they planned to protest if President Trump won. Six out of ten said they would embarrass friends who could vote but chose not to vote.
In contrast, only 3% of students surveyed said they would protest if Joe Biden was elected.