Photos: A surge in early voting as Covid-19 transforms US elections

In-person early voting for the presidential election has been underway in the United States for weeks now and began recently in several major Democratic-leaning metropolitan areas. An analysis of polling data by the AP also shows voters this election season embracing mail-in ballots, which health officials say are the safest way to avoid coronavirus infection while voting. More than 17 million Americans, or 12% of the turnout in 2016, have already cast their ballots with a fortnight to go for Election Day. Poll pundits predict that a record 150 million votes may be cast this year and turnout rates could be higher than in any US presidential election since 1908.

Updated On Oct 19, 2020 09:04 PM IST
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A woman wearing a mask with a message urging voter participation waits in line to enter a polling station on the first day of the state’s in-person early voting for the general election in Durham, North Carolina on October 15. More than 17 million Americans have already cast ballots in the 2020 election, a figure that represents 12% of all the votes cast in the 2016 presidential election. (Jonathan Drake / REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 19, 2020 09:04 PM IST

A woman wearing a mask with a message urging voter participation waits in line to enter a polling station on the first day of the state’s in-person early voting for the general election in Durham, North Carolina on October 15. More than 17 million Americans have already cast ballots in the 2020 election, a figure that represents 12% of all the votes cast in the 2016 presidential election. (Jonathan Drake / REUTERS)

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Voters queue to cast ballots at an early voting polling location for the 2020 Presidential elections in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 17. This figure comes even as eight states are not yet reporting their totals and voters still have more than two weeks to cast ballots. Early voting this poll season has been driven both by Democratic enthusiasm and a pandemic that has transformed the way the Unites States votes. (Roger Kisby / Bloomberg)
Updated on Oct 19, 2020 09:04 PM IST

Voters queue to cast ballots at an early voting polling location for the 2020 Presidential elections in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 17. This figure comes even as eight states are not yet reporting their totals and voters still have more than two weeks to cast ballots. Early voting this poll season has been driven both by Democratic enthusiasm and a pandemic that has transformed the way the Unites States votes. (Roger Kisby / Bloomberg)

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Dana Clark, and her son 18 month old Mason, wait in line at City Hall as early voting begins in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 16. A record-shattering avalanche of early votes is leading election experts to predict that a record 150 million votes may be cast and turnout rates could be higher than in any presidential election since 1908, AP reported.
Updated on Oct 19, 2020 09:04 PM IST

Dana Clark, and her son 18 month old Mason, wait in line at City Hall as early voting begins in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 16. A record-shattering avalanche of early votes is leading election experts to predict that a record 150 million votes may be cast and turnout rates could be higher than in any presidential election since 1908, AP reported.

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Voters cast their ballots at an early vote location in North Charleston, South Carolina on October 16. “It’s crazy,” Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political scientist who has long tracked voting for his site ElectProject.org, told AP. McDonald’s analysis shows roughly 10 times as many people have voted compared with this point in 2016. (Logan Cyrus / AFP)
Updated on Oct 19, 2020 09:04 PM IST

Voters cast their ballots at an early vote location in North Charleston, South Carolina on October 16. “It’s crazy,” Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political scientist who has long tracked voting for his site ElectProject.org, told AP. McDonald’s analysis shows roughly 10 times as many people have voted compared with this point in 2016. (Logan Cyrus / AFP)

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A poll worker walks past people casting their votes in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 16. So far the turnout has been lopsided, with Democrats outvoting Republicans by a 2:1 ratio in the 42 states included in the Associated Press count. Republicans have been bracing themselves for this early Democratic advantage for months, as they’ve watched President Donald Trump rail against mail-in ballots and raise worries about fraud. (Kathleen Flynn / REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 19, 2020 09:04 PM IST

A poll worker walks past people casting their votes in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 16. So far the turnout has been lopsided, with Democrats outvoting Republicans by a 2:1 ratio in the 42 states included in the Associated Press count. Republicans have been bracing themselves for this early Democratic advantage for months, as they’ve watched President Donald Trump rail against mail-in ballots and raise worries about fraud. (Kathleen Flynn / REUTERS)

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An election worker assists a voter casting her ballot from her car in Durham, North Carolina on October 15. In many critical battleground states, Democrats have “banked” a chunk of their voters and can turn their time and money toward harder to find infrequent voters. (Jonathan Drake / REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 19, 2020 09:04 PM IST

An election worker assists a voter casting her ballot from her car in Durham, North Carolina on October 15. In many critical battleground states, Democrats have “banked” a chunk of their voters and can turn their time and money toward harder to find infrequent voters. (Jonathan Drake / REUTERS)

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A poll worker sanitizes a voting booth in Durham, North Carolina on October 15. Early voting does not necessarily mean Democrats will lead in votes by the time ballots are counted. Both parties anticipate a swell of Republican votes on Election Day that could dramatically shift the dynamic. “The Republican numbers are going to pick up,” John Couvillon, a GOP pollster tracking early voting told AP. “The question is at what velocity, and when?” (Jonathan Drake / REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 19, 2020 09:04 PM IST

A poll worker sanitizes a voting booth in Durham, North Carolina on October 15. Early voting does not necessarily mean Democrats will lead in votes by the time ballots are counted. Both parties anticipate a swell of Republican votes on Election Day that could dramatically shift the dynamic. “The Republican numbers are going to pick up,” John Couvillon, a GOP pollster tracking early voting told AP. “The question is at what velocity, and when?” (Jonathan Drake / REUTERS)

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A poll worker displays "I Voted" stickers during the first day of early voting in Las Vegas on October 17. Republicans argue that signs of enthusiasm are meaningless — Democratic early voters are people who would have voted anyway. But an AP analysis of the early vote shows 8% of early voters had never cast a ballot before, and 13.8% had voted in half or fewer of previous elections for which they were eligible. (Steve Marcus / Las Vegas Sun via AP)
Updated on Oct 19, 2020 09:04 PM IST

A poll worker displays "I Voted" stickers during the first day of early voting in Las Vegas on October 17. Republicans argue that signs of enthusiasm are meaningless — Democratic early voters are people who would have voted anyway. But an AP analysis of the early vote shows 8% of early voters had never cast a ballot before, and 13.8% had voted in half or fewer of previous elections for which they were eligible. (Steve Marcus / Las Vegas Sun via AP)

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People line up to cast their ballot in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 16. The data also show voters embracing mail voting, which health officials say is the safest way to avoid coronavirus infection while voting. Mail ballots so far have skewed toward older voters, with half coming from voters over age 64. The number of ballots already returned in several states dwarf the entire total in prior elections. (Kathleen Flynn / REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 19, 2020 09:04 PM IST

People line up to cast their ballot in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 16. The data also show voters embracing mail voting, which health officials say is the safest way to avoid coronavirus infection while voting. Mail ballots so far have skewed toward older voters, with half coming from voters over age 64. The number of ballots already returned in several states dwarf the entire total in prior elections. (Kathleen Flynn / REUTERS)

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