What to Make of the Early Voting Stampede?

Mish

Four battleground states are near or have exceeded their entire 2016 early voting totals.

Early Voting Stampede

Mail balloting is fueling a Historic Early Voting in the 2020 Election

  • Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Virginia have already received more early ballots than they did in the 2016 presidential election.
  • Election officials already talk about “Election Week” rather than “Election Day” and urge voters to see a lengthy count in close contests as normal. 
  • Virginia, one of the first states to open early in-person voting sites, topped 2016 levels for both categories of advance voting in the first week it reported numbers. More than 977,000 ballots have been cast in the state, with slightly more early in-person ballots being cast than mail-in votes.
  • In Florida, which has 29 Electoral College votes, about 1.7 million mail ballots have been cast, more than 60% of those received in 2016.
  • In North Carolina, 192,000 ballots were cast by mail  in 2016 compared with more than 483,000 so far. 
  • In Georgia, voters reported waiting in line for hours on the first day of early, in-person voting, when the secretary of state’s office said a record 126,876 people voted.
  • Michigan officials said 978,000 early votes have already been cast, about 76% of the total 2016 advance vote and more than three times the number cast through the same time four years ago.
  • In Pennsylvania, more early ballots have been cast than in either the 2016 or 2018 general elections. More than 385,000 mail-in ballots had been received by election officials out of more than 2.6 million that have been requested.
  • So far, at least 11 states have already reached or exceeded 50% of their total early vote in 2016. Four have surpassed those levels.

Spotlight Georgia

Problems in Four States

Ballot Counting

Michigan and Wisconsin do not start counting early voting until election day.

If those states are needed to declare a winner, there will not be a winner election evening.

Polling Impact

One of the biggest challenges for pollsters is estimating turnout. 

The most accurate surveys are of likely voters, not registered voters.

But someone who has already voted is a "sure thing".

If a "likely" voter is 85% likely to vote, a "sure thing" is 100%. 

Pollsters should place more weight on "already voted" than likely, but none of them do. 

What About Uncounted Votes?

Trump has made it clear he is willing to do anything he can to disrupt mail-in votes. 

There will be court challenges and no one can say for sure how those challenges would stand up if the election is close. 

The surge in vote-by-mail will also lead to errors. Ballots whose signatures do not match official records will get tossed. 

No one can say what the error rate will be, but Democrats will have far more votes challenged than Republicans if for no other reason that more Democrats will vote by mail. 

What to Make of It?

Trump brags about the number of people at his rallies.

The silent majority waits in line 8 hours to vote for Biden.

I strongly suspect pollsters bending over backwards to prevent a 2016 error again will have underestimated support for Biden.

Mish

Comments (82)
No. 1-26
PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

I went to vote today and here are some observations.

  1. I waited 90 minutes at the polling place - long lines.
  2. In past elections, the crowd would be 70% boomers, 30% non-boomers, today it was the opposite, 70% non-boom, 30% boomers.
  3. The crowd was the most diverse I have ever seen. Lots of black and brown with spinkles of whites (usually boomers).
  4. People seemed very determined, there was an elderly asian lady on a walker who refused to cut in line, she said she would do like the others.
  5. There were no candidates for any office hanging around trying to get votes.
  6. Bad news for Trumpers - There was a sign that masks were REQUIRED. Everyone there was wearing a mask.
  7. When I left, the line slowed down to about 60 minutes but still long.
  8. Not a single red or maga hat to be seen.
  9. My mother voted in a different city, reported there were two people wearing trump shirts, advised they cant go in wearing those shirts, needed to change or flip them over...couple threw hissy fit as expected.

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

American people love our Dear Leader Don so much, they cannot wait to vote for Him to make America great again, and again, and again, forever!

Felix_Mish
Felix_Mish

Waiting in line to vote for 12 hours? Talk about underemployment. Bring back the free voting whiskey of the early 1800's!

Three pictures from Georgia, but none from Wis, Minn, PA, and Mich? Does "The silent majority waits in line 8 hours to vote for Biden." need a period after "vote"?

I'm calling a solid Biden win. Though I think he won the Dem primaries by name recognition and a single-day decision process, there are a lot of people out there whose information about the non-personal world is only through CNN, ?BC, and Comedy Central. The media, blind-sided in 2016 by an underfunded outsider, are back and in the driver's seat, baby.

Sechel
Sechel

The long lines are voter suppression. Its incredible that in this country the right to own a weapon is more sacred than the right to vote. Judge Amy Barrett holds this view by the way.

Seems obvious to me that those on line are mostly voting Biden. The images on TV just makes everyone more motivated

Sechel
Sechel

I agree Trump will attempt to win in court what he surely won't by the box

numike
numike

the overriding problem with Trump..and it was exemplified ever more over time..is that its all about Trump..not you ,not me, not the country but Trump...and the people are realizing it was all about Trump and they are ready to try 'door number two' as an alternative to Trump's never ending "all about me"

Rbm
Rbm

Maybe if we had this much enthusiasm to vote for the last 30 yrs we would not be in the mess were in now

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

The rush is because Trump made people afraid to vote late. I think it's that simple.

I will vote on Election Day, after I get off work, and I expect it will tie me up for maybe five minutes. If that.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I expect a lot of these early votes are for Biden. I don't think Trump voters are worried much about voter suppression.

It might turn into a landslide for Biden. I hope it doesn't make him think that it's because we think he's some kind of statesman or something.

Webej
Webej

In my country we all vote the same day.
Turn out percentage is much higher than in the US.
I have never seen a line of more than 2-5 people ...
If there were a line up, you can go select another voting location ...

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

tRump is making the American democracy great again: his voting suppression tricks are motivating more people to fight back by voting early in order to make sure their votes count.

Rusty Nail
Rusty Nail

-will Trump try to pardon himself, or will he resign and let pence pardon him?
-can a president be pardoned for crimes which he hasn't been charged?
-can he still be tried in state courts even if he's pardoned federally?
-which will be the first case to go to trial? What other cases are potentially waiting in the wings?
-will be be financially ruined, or will he find a way to cash in on his base?
-will his base pivot away from him in disgust, or remain supportive?

humna909
humna909

Dear America,

I'm writing to inform you that despite your belief that you are the 'world's most democratic nation' you fall a long way behind in many respects and most starkly in the haphazardly run voting system.

Waiting all day to vote is insanity and something that is to be expected in a third world country. (In my own country we have compulsory voting. Everybody does votes. Usually I face lines either no lines or lines under 10 minutes.)

Please get you shit in order.

Lots of love,

The Rest of the Free World.

(While there is plenty of schadenfreude in the rest of the world regarding the trouble that the USA faces. Overall most people and countries do not want to see the USA fail. It bodes badly for the rest of the world. Likewise while many can mock the EU and its bureaucracy failure of the EU also bodes ill for the rest of the world.)

ROGO1
ROGO1

Trump won't get a mulligan for being a failed POTUS!.
Too many dead Covid - 19 victims on his watch, it’s not the economy stupid,
SCIENCE MATTERS!
Trump = “Tyrannical Rude Untruthful Morose Pathetic”
Biden = “Believable Integrity Democracy Empathetic Noble”
“Join Our Effort”

Excelsior13
Excelsior13

Marietta is a northern suburb of Atlanta. This is not a reflection of the USA.

There are a lot of intelligent posters on this site, and obviously the author is very intelligent. However, have any you been watching the massive enthusiasm for Trump vs the apathy of Biden? Have you seen a Biden campaign rally with 30 people (half secret service and his staff) vs a Trump rally (thousands)? Have you seen the reportedly 30, 000 cars in Miami, the Trump boat parades, Trump support in Beverly Hills, and just recently the YUGE support on Long Island???

If this was a normal election process, Trump would win and a massive landslide. He will win anyway. We will just have to wait until...., well, I don't know when. It could be weeks.

TRUMP 2020, because he is the only one fighting for America, and battling Marxism (Progressive ideology here at home) and globalism.

The only problem is this, no one is being groomed to take over after he serves his second term. Sadly, I expect a Marxist (progressive) to be elected after.

Rbm
Rbm

Trump better hurry and drop that bomb about biden before everyone votes.

Herkie
Herkie

Mish, it is hard to say for certain but I do think this favors Biden, you did say this: "Ballots whose signatures do not match official records will get tossed. " In Florida we are assured that if they question the authenticity of a signature the person will be contacted.

I plan to go to vote early on the 19th when it begins here. Though if the lines are as they appear above I will wait. One thing that I am certain will be a problem is that Trump has called upon republicans to go to the polls and "keep them honest" which is dog whistling his zombies to go to the polls and mess with people. Block access, intimidate. But, I want my vote counted. The only time I ever voted in Florida was 2000 and I planned to vote for Gore, but I had to move to NY in late August too late to register there. So I had to have a FL absentee ballot sent, it arrived the day after the election, it could not be voted. I wonder what an unopened Bush v Gore ballot would be worth now? Bush "won" only after they shut the counting down and that was by 536 votes.

I do not know who in the chain of custody of my ballot held it up, but I do not plan to have my voice silenced this year.

hendogcu
hendogcu

I just voted at one of the locations in GA at 8AM. Took a total of 15 minutes from walking up and signing in to walking out. Only idiots go the first day... Columbus Day at that - everyone is off...

silverdog148
silverdog148

Interesting

silverdog148
silverdog148

It's very interesting to see the electorate swing in the Democrat's/Biden's favor. This election will also reveal whether the GOP is headed towards a regional party status instead of a national party, Texas in play and Arizona looking increasingly a Biden state. Also very interesting that neither the GOP nor the Dems are discussing taxes/reducing spending(two sides of the same coin).

The nation as a whole for the most part has turned fully to leveraging the reserve currency status of the dollar to keep the party going. This is a huge shift and the groundwork/foundation for socialism is being laid, both by the GOP and Dem deficit spending. The nation as a whole embraces this and wants it no matter the party, that is the real reason Trump is going to lose because he is endangering the existing system(which most want to keep going no matter what they say), I expect seniors who are the biggest recipients of the welfare state to swing to Biden in big numbers.

KidHorn
KidHorn

My wife and I are doing mail in voting because my wife is high risk. I'm going to wait until just before election day to vote since, with 2 elderly candidates, there's a chance one or both may not make it to election day. When I've voted in person on election day, I don't think I ever waited more than 5 minutes. Why are people waiting in line for hours?

On my ballot, everyone with a (D) next to their name will win, except for our governor. Amazing he wins in a state where all but one electorate is a democrat. A reflection of how the democrats have gerrymandered my state. So my vote won't matter.

Scooot
Scooot

“What to make of the voting stampede”

Maybe people realise the virus is on its way again and they want to vote before the ability to do so is affected by new restrictions. Unfortunately it’s inevitable as we’re finding out in Europe.

AshH
AshH

I suspect that die-hard right wing news followers are going to have a big wake-up call on election day, based on some of the comments here.

I don't understand why people keep following news sources that spin or outright lie to them. COVID is no worse than the flu? The polls are wrong and Trump will win? What will it take for people stop believing what these guys are saying?

az_dirt
az_dirt

Maybe people read about the army of Trump's Sturmabteilung that are being trained to disrupt the polls on election day.


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