9 questions about 2020’s record-breaking early vote, answered

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Election officials assist a voter in Washington, DC, on October 27. Early voting turnout has surpassed the total early vote in 2016. | Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

How many people have already voted? And what does that tell us about the election?

More than 80 million Americans have voted so far in 2020, a turnout so enormous that by the time you read this, the figure might already be out of date.

The early vote in 2020 has already far surpassed the total early vote in 2016. The early vote surge indicates turnout in 2020 could be the highest in a century, at around 65 percent of the voting-eligible population, or about 150 million voters.

And 2016 wasn’t exactly shabby in turnout: About 60 percent of those eligible voted.

“We’re seeing a very energized, interested electorate, and we’re seeing a public, I think, that is responding to a message that you need to cast that ballot early this year,” Paul Gronke, a professor of political science at Reed College who runs the Early Voter Information Center, said.

Enthusiasm among both Democratic and Republican voters is high. President Donald Trump is the reason: His supporters are extremely motivated to…


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