2020 US Presidential Polls Sees Highest Voter Turnout in 120 Years

Election Day saw a voter turnout of 66.9 percent, the highest since the 1900 election, which recorded 73.7 percent.

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Preliminary statistics suggest that this year’s election drew the highest turnout in 120 years, with over 160 million votes having been cast.
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Even as counting continues in the US presidential election, preliminary statistics suggest that this year’s election drew the highest turnout in 120 years, with over 160 million votes having been cast, PTI reports.

Election Day on 3 November reportedly saw a voter turnout of 66.9 percent, the highest since the 1900 election, which recorded 73.7 percent voter turnout.

The data comes from the US Elections Project, a nonpartisan website run by Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor who tracks county-level data, and is likely to be updated as counting continues.

According to a report by Fortune, there is a wide margin of 21 million votes between the 2016 and the 2020 elections, with 139 million votes being cast in 2016 – 60.1 percent voter turnout.

High Voter Turnout Despite Pandemic

The high voter turnout comes in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and an ongoing economic crisis. Even before polls for the US presidential elections opened on Tuesday, approximately a 100 million Americans voted in the country, according to CNN. The 100.2 million ballots made up 73 percent of  the total ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election, the report further said.

Voting demographics show that Minnesota and Maine reported the highest state-wise turnout, with 79.2 percent eligible voters each, followed by 78.6 percent turnout in Iowa.

According to a report by PTI, Arkansas recorded the lowest turnout of 56.1 percent, as per preliminary estimates.

Main reasons for high turnout also include the increase in the number of young Americans, aged 18-29, voting much more than they traditionally did in the past.

According to Fortune, in Texas, they represented 13.1 percent of early votes, up from 6 percent, while in Michigan, young voters made up 9.4 percent, up from 2.5 percent in 2016.

Though the highest ever voter-turnout was in 1900 when it hit 73.7 percent, it is important to note that rates from that era are incomparable to today’s, for women did not yet have the right to exercise their franchise, and voter rights of Black Americans were suppressed.

Meanwhile, Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden has received the maximum number of votes received by any candidate in the history of the United States, with more than 8 million votes than Clinton in 2016 – holding a lead over incumbent President Donald Trump by over 4 million votes as of Thursday night ET.

The long-winding, teeth-clenching competition between Biden and Trump is not over yet as counting of votes continue.

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