With less than a week until Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at least 20 million people across the country had already cast their ballots as of Wednesday (10/31) morning, CNN reported. The news outlet said it partnered with Catalist, a data company that works with Democrats and others to compile counts of ballots cast during early voting either in-person or by mail.
With a historic low-voter turnout in 2014, voting advocacy groups are pleasantly surprised that this 2018 midterm election is showing a renewed vigor in the election process. States such as Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia have surpassed their voter turnout numbers of 2014, according to The Washington Post.
In North Carolina, turnout in 2018 has surpassed the totals for the entire early voting periods in 2010 and 2014. Both of the last midterm elections in the state had vital Senate races, which isn’t the case this time around. In 2010, only 645,793 voters casted ballots at this point in the early voting period, and 949,420 cast ballots during that entire 17-day early voting period. Across the entire early voting period of 2014, which was only a 10-day period, 1,097,269 ballots were cast at early voting sites. According to data from the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement released today (11/1), 1,493,453 North Carolinians have already voted.
“Following reports of spikes in registration among the youngest voters this summer, voters under 26 have cast almost double the number of ballots (72,030) at early voting sites so far this cycle compared to the entire 2014 early voting period (37,222),” Democracy NC said in a statement.
In 2014, voters in North Carolina under 26 accounted for 3.4 percent of the ballots cast. So far this year, voters under 26 have cast 4.8 percent of all ballots at early voting sites.
In Florida, more than 3 million ballots have been cast going into the last weekend of early voting, according to Naples News. The state’s gubernatorial contest is one of the most-watched races in the country, with Democrat Andrew Gillum, mayor of Tallahassee, opposing Republican Ron DeSantis, a former congressman. If Gillum wins he will be the first African-American governor of Florida.
Early voting in Florida ends on Saturday, Nov. 3.
Be sure to check out EBONY’s midterm election survey.
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Sarafina Wright is a political correspondent for EBONY.com. Previously she served as the editor of the WI Bridge and staff writer at the Washington Informer in Washington, DC, covering business, education, health and politics. She attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing professionally she can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com. Sarafina can be reached at email@example.com.