Analysts looking at the early voting figures for the midterm elections are predicting a massive turnout after the last midterms set a 70-year record low among eligible voters.
According to a report on The Hill, more than 4.3 million people have already cast their votes through either mail-in ballots or early in-person voting indicating a surge in political enthusiasm in the current election cycle.
“All signs point to a higher turnout election,” said Michael McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida who closely tracks early vote tallies. “Where we can make comparisons, so far the numbers are up from 2014. Which is not a surprise because 2014 was an exceptionally low turnout election,” according to The Hill.
The number of ballots requested for early voting has already exceeded the total number of votes actually cast in the last midterm elections, and the figures for individual states are impressive, with over 800,000 votes already cast in Florida where crucial Senatorial and Gubernatorial races are at stake; nearly 500,000 in California, home to several vulnerable Republican Congressional seats; over 200,000 in Tennessee and Arizona where close races for open Senate seats are taking place; and over 100,000 ballots cast in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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McDonald believes that midterm turnout could turn out to be as high as 50 percent of the voting-eligible population, a percentage not seen since the 1966 midterm elections, with infrequent and new voters accounting for 15% to 20% of the votes cast so far.
The unexpectedly high turnout among African-American voters in Georgia — where a scandal over voter suppression by the Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp (who supervises voter registration procedures while himself running for Governor against an African-American Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams) has led to calls for Kemp to step down from his conflicted position — is a sign of the backlash against the efforts to prevent eligible voters from exercising their civic rights.
Of course, it’s not the early voting that counts in the end, but the final totals. Whether you decide to vote ahead of election day or at your polling place on the day itself, the most important thing you must do is cast your ballot. Modern elections are decided not so much by who votes but by who doesn’t vote, with paltry voting rates among the younger population skewing the electoral results towards the choices of the older, more conservative, but more reliably ready to participate in the elections, voters.
With polls showing that the majority of Americans oppose the policies of Donald Trump and his Republican Congress, the only way to stop his agenda is by demonstrating our numbers at the ballot box and voting out his cronies out of office, returning Congress to a Democratic majority. Vote now!
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