Early Vote Enthusiasm


Kyle Feldkamp

As of Sunday afternoon, over 92 million voters have cast ballots. While early voting is up nationwide, Texas has led the nation in terms of percentage and votes cast. In Texas alone, over 9 million people have voted to surpass 2016’s total turnout. 

Early Voting is in demand for this election mainly due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Many voters have cast mail-in ballots to prevent coming in contact with long lines on election day. However in many states, mail-in ballots are limited for specific reasons, so there is also an increase in early in-person voting. 

Voter enthusiasm is also contributing to a higher turnout. Based on polls, this enthusiasm is at its highest since 2004. Voters on both sides of the political spectrum are excited to get out to vote early. This excitement is especially prevalent among young voters – a segment who have historically made up a small group of the electorate, but this election young voters are turning out in droves. In many of the most important battleground states young voters, early voter turnout makes up a larger share of the electorate than in 2016. So far over 7 million people between the ages of 18 and 29 have voted early.

In Saint Joseph County, voters are able to cast early ballots by mail or in person at the County-City Building downtown South Bend and County Services Building in downtown Mishawaka. Throughout the early voting period lines have ranged from 45 minutes to over 90 minutes.

Today is the last day of early voting in Indiana. Early voting ends at noon so election officials have time to transition supplies over to prepare for election day. As of early last week, over 44,800 people have voted in St. Joseph County. These are numbers show how unexpected the events of 2020 are.