Millions of Americans are voting early to get this thing over with already
No matter their party preference, it’s pretty safe to say most Americans are ready for this election to be over and done. It would be nice to breathe that sigh of relief that follows dodging a near apocalypse, and it would also be nice to bury both insult-driven campaigns, one of which (and it shall remain nameless) routinely hurls unfounded and frankly dangerous claims about varying groups and the system at large on a regular basis. So, yeah, obviously the reasonable route for millions of Americans who have voted early is to just do their part ASAP and walk away from this nightmare.
An estimated five million Americans have already voted, according to the Pew Research Center — a number that is projected to hit 50 million prior to Nov. 8, a staggering proportion of the 130 million total expected voters. On a state-level, various states have seen previous early voting records obliterated. In Minnesota, two weeks prior to Election Day, 350,000 citizens have already voted, and CBS Minnesota reports that in some counties, early voting ballots are double what they were in the last presidential election. In Florida, only 44 percent of voters will vote traditionally on Election Day, the same research found, and in Arizona, roughly 66 percent of votes were cast early or absentee.
In 1996, about 10 percent of voters opted for early voting or absentee ballots, according to national census data, and just four years ago in the last presidential election, this proportion reached 33 percent. This proportion is projected to climb to 40 percent in this election.
This could speak to the sense of urgency and discomfort voters feel considering known bigot and sexual predator Donald Trump is on the table as a potential commander-in-chief, or, of course, it could speak to the nation’s decentralized electoral system. All states have varying Election Day voting procedures, but simultaneously, all states offer some form of early or absentee voting that’s far more convenient for people unable to secure time off to go to polling booths. Additionally, many of the millennials who will be voting for the first time this election may simultaneously be college students going to school out of state and in need of absentee ballots.
Still, at least this election season, it’s not unreasonable to assume people are voting early just to get this shit show over and done with.
High rates of early voting among Americans also signal that it may be too late for the candidates to influence the outcome of the election, which, according to polling at the moment, would seem to favor Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Current estimates of early voting results find that she holds a roughly 61 to 36 point lead over Trump.
Some Americans voted almost immediately after leaked tapes of Trump boasting about sexual assault outraged the nation. Trump recently dropped a plan for his first 100 days in office, and his campaign began pushing for a fourth debate and pushing the message that Election Day will be rigged, but none of these last-ditch efforts are a match for early voters who have already made up their minds, either for or against him.