Early 2022 Voting Outpaces Normal Midterm Election Numbers, Comparable to 2018: Data

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About 2.7 million people have already voted in more than a dozen states, according to data released this week by a university. That figure is on par with the record turnout during the 2018 midterm elections, a professor concluded.

Of that figure, 2,353,531 people voted via mail-in ballots, while 337,852 cast their ballots in person, data from the University of Florida’s U.S. Elections Project shows. About a third of the early votes recorded so far have been cast in Florida alone, as more than 600,000 in the Sunshine State have cast ballots.

“It’s clear that we are above the 2018 midterm at the same point in time in states where we have comparable data to look at,” Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida, told ABC News. “We can see the sorts of indicators that would suggest that we’re in for a high-turnout election, much like we had in 2018. And 2018 was the highest midterm turnout rate since 1914.”

Florida, which has a Republican governor and a Republican-controlled legislature, is leading the way so far, the data shows.

“Quite remarkable … considering that early voting is going on in many other states,” McDonald told ABC News. “Florida has been piling on another 100,000 every day, at this point. Florida’s really why the numbers have moved so quickly.”

Florida Leads

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week signed an executive order that allows Hurricane Ian-hit areas more flexibility to request and cast ballots, including adding three days of early voting and rescinding certain voting requirements in several western coastal counties.

During an event on Saturday, DeSantis encouraged people to vote by mail.

“What I would say is whatever you like is fine. We’ve got good returns on absentee, and I have confidence in early voting, in person [voting], and of course Election day [voting],” the Republican governor said.

By Jack Phillips

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