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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Early voter turnout flourishes

Courtesy of Marco Verch via Flickr

Voters have turned out in record-breaking numbers to cast their ballots early for the upcoming presidential election.

According to The New York Times, over 70 million ballots have already been cast ahead of the Nov. 3 election, which is more than half of the number of votes that were cast in the 2016 election.

Suffolk student Jordan Grant cast her vote while she was back in her hometown in Massachusetts for a weekend and noticed that early voting had begun.

“I think it helps scheduling wise and giving people like me who go to school or people who work a lot, especially people who can’t take days off for the luxury of voting, more time to work it into their schedule and get their vote in,” said Grant.

Based on the numbers so far it seems there may also be an increase in voter turnout this election, a trend that could continue that of the 2018 midterm election, which saw a record voter turnout of 116 million people. 

All previous early voting records have been smashed. The early voting count in Texas has already surpassed the total number of ballots cast in the state in 2016. This could be due to two factors: the expansion of early voting, especially with mail-in ballots due to the pandemic, and the anticipation of a historic election due to a polarized nation in the past four years.

COVID-19, which many believe President Donald Trump’s handling of will be judged at the ballot box, has changed many aspects of normal life and voting is no exception. Since standing shoulder to shoulder with other voters in long lines and packing into polling places is no longer feasible, many states expanded their voting by mail processes in anticipation for a large turnout.

New Hampshire is allowing all voters the option to vote by mail for the first time. Some states are automatically sending all registered voters a mail-in ballot. Virginia has early voting for the first time ever, and several states expanded their already-existing early voting periods.

Many voters are anxious about the election as the United States has experienced incredible conflict this year between the coronavirus pandemic, a national reckoning on racial injustice and an economic crisis. There has also been increased hostility between already polarized political parties.

The expansion of early voting has not only made it safer for people to use their voice and vote, but also easier for them to do so. 

I think having these options available will continue to cause a higher voter turnout (in future elections) since there’s not only more chances, but also different ways for people to ‘get out to the polls’,” said Suffolk freshmen Logan Gozzi.

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About the Contributor
Grace MacDonald, Graduate Copy Editor | she/her
Grace is a graduate student from Seekonk, Mass., majoring in communication with an integrated marketing communication concentration. Besides having a passion for writing, she enjoys listening to Taylor Swift, watching movies and exploring the city. She loves to travel and rock climbs in her free time. After graduating, she hopes to work in corporate communications. Follow Grace on Twitter @GraceM123456

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Early voter turnout flourishes