Millions of Americans already voting ahead of consequential midterm elections
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Millions of Americans are already voting ahead of this year’s midterm elections. Most states have an early voting option that experts say is being used more frequently than in the past.
“It is something that benefits both voters and the people that administer our elections,” said Bryce Bennett, project director of Vote Early Day.
Over 5 million Americans have hit the ballot boxes early according to the United States Election Project, getting their votes in at their convenience without long lines. 46 states and Washington, D.C. allow for early voting. Bennett says making voting accessible should always be the goal.
“We want to make sure that everyone, no matter who you are, where you come from, or who you’re voting for, has a chance to cast your ballot,” said Bennett.
Bennett says many more Americans are using the early voting option as the pandemic normalized different methods for casting ballots.
But moving away from one climactic day where everyone votes has an impact on how candidates campaign. They now need to deliver last ditch messages for weeks. Danielle Alvarez from the Republican National Committee says they’re encouraging voters to hit the polls whenever they can.
“It’s all about math. We have to make sure that we get the votes in,” said Alvarez.
Sam Cornale, executive director of the Democratic National Committee says his party heavily invested in technology and data to track voter trends with the rise of alternative voting methods.
“Access to voting is a good thing, period. We believe in every Americans’ right, whether they support us or not, to cast a lawful ballot in every election,” said Cornale.
Politically, who benefits from early voting? Mark Rom, a political expert from Georgetown University says everyone wins when votes are locked in.
“The better the parties are able in motivating their voters to vote early, the better they’re going to do,” said Rom.
Rom says historically Republicans utilized early voting more, but in 2020 former President Trump discouraged early voting before eventually denying the lawful election results. Rom says this year Republicans may feel the lingering effects of Trump’s request, potentially to their detriment.
He says instead of focusing on November 8, these political campaigns should be thinking of the month before as one long election day.
“Every vote you get now is one less voter that has to go on election day,” said Rom.
Vote Early Day is holding early voting events across the country on October 28 to drive more turnout ahead of November 8.
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