Tuesday, January 18

Turnout in US elections already smashes all records

Correspondent in Washington



Almost four million Americans have voted in advance or by mail, a figure 50 times higher than on this date in the previous elections. This haste is due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the pandemic, and the fear of long lines at polling stations on Election Day, which is November 3. Fearful that a high influx could harm him, the president Donald Trump denounces the possibility of fraud, especially in states ruled by Democrats.

The organization U.S. Elections Project is the one that has published the estimate, which is 3.8 million votes at the beginning of October 2020, compared to only 75,000 in 2016. In many states there are already polls open in places specially enabled for it, where in fact it is not uncommon to see queues to vote, as in Virginia. According to that organization, which monitors the vote, the states where the most citizens have exercised their right are Virginia, Florida Y Wisconsin, the latter two highly contested between Trump and Joe Biden.

Trump’s suspicion is mainly due to the ballot request data. There are states that, as Spain does, send ballots to vote by mail if the voter requests them before. Seven of them – Florida, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and South Dakota – also maintain a voter registry by party. That is, the voter registers as if he were a Republican, a Democrat or an independent, even if he ultimately opts for candidates from another party. Well, of the 48 million who have applied for ballots in those states, 21 million are registered Democrats and 12 million are Republicans.

That explains why at his rallies and in the debate a week ago, President Trump denounced fraud in vote-by-mail, and invite your supporters to vote en masse on Election Day and monitor polling stations for wrongdoing, as if they were volunteer auditors. At the moment, there is no complaint filed with the Prosecutor’s Office about fraud committed by the Democrats in these presidential elections, although there has been an incident such as a dozen soldiers’ ballots found in a trash can in Pennsylvania.

Biden, ahead in the polls

In the 2016 elections, 55% of the census voted, 127 million voters. Nearly 63 million opted for Trump, who won, and nearly three million more voted for Hillary Clinton, that lost. In the US it is the electoral college, divided by states, that decides the winner, and not the direct vote. Polls, at this time, show Biden as the winner, averaging 10 points above Trump, but those polls already failed miserably in 2016.

Now, the US Elections Project claims that participation can break all records, with 150 million voters, given the facilities to vote in advance that have been taken before the pandemic. If so, that participation would be 65%, something unheard of.

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