US Election 2020: What is early voting and how will it impact the White House race?
Early voting is a convenient way of voting in which people are allowed to vote before the scheduled election day. This can be done either in- person at early voting stations or by post.Updated: Oct 26, 2020, 18:49 IST
Eight days before the November 3 US presidential elections, early voting has surpassed all the pre-poll ballots from 2016. The US Election Project run by the University of Florida said that as of October 25, more than 59 million people have already voted early in the elections. In 2016, 57 million people had voted early or by mail, according to the US Election Assistance Commission website.
Here’s everything you need to know about early voting:
What is early voting?
Early voting is a convenient way of voting in which people are allowed to vote before the scheduled election day. This can be done either in- person at early voting stations or by post. This is a complex process as different states in the United States have different rules with respect to early voting. Also, voting early does not mean voting easily as in-person polling stations can also have long lines and some states have elaborate mail-in ballot processes.
Why are people voting early in the elections?
The major reason attributed to the increase in early voting is the Covid- 19 pandemic. Standing in long lines on the election day is certainly not conducive to the social distancing measures that need to be adopted because of the pandemic and thus more and more people are choosing to vote early. Also, at least US 30 states have made adjustments to make it easier for people to vote early and through absentee ballots.
What is the stand of President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden on early voting?
Trump has been claiming since the beginning of the election cycle that mail-in ballots can lead to voter fraud even though he voted early in person in Florida. On the other hand, Democratic nominee Biden has continuously encouraged early voting.
Will early voting impact the election?
An increase in early voting will obviously increase the overall turnout of the election. This means that counting of the votes will take much more time and the results of the election could be delayed. President Trump has also claimed that postal voting leads to fraud in the elections although there has been no evidence of fraud in the system. But the results of the elections could be questioned by Trump if they aren’t in the favour of the Republican Party.