Four states – Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and Texas – have already surpassed their 2016 vote count before election day.
According to CNN, Arizona is the last state to exceed the number of votes cast four years ago. On Monday, the Arizona Secretary of State’s office reported that 2,667,535 ballots were accepted. That’s about 6,000 more votes than were cast in the embattled state in the race between President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Nevada’s Secretary of State’s data also show that more people voted early in this election than in the entire 2016 campaign. On the eve of Election Day, the state reported that 1,125,580 residents cast their votes. Four years ago, 1,125,429 people had cast their votes.
Hawaii and Texas both shattered previous election records. The Lone Star State, which received more attention in 2020 when the Democrats tried to turn it blue, received 9,719,101 ballots: about 750,000 more votes than in 2016. Hawaii increased its voter turnout from 437,664 four years ago to more than 484,000 so far this election cycle.
The averages of the election forecaster FiveThirtyEight show that the Democratic candidate Joe Biden is in the lead in Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada. Trump, however, retains a narrow lead in Texas, where no Democrat has won a presidential election since 1976.
Some 97 million Americans have already cast their votes, according to data from the U.S. Elections Project. That is more than twice as many as the number of early votes cast before Election Day 2016. In the 20 states that report party registration of early voters, the database found that 45 percent of early voters are registered Democrats, 30 percent are Republicans and 24 percent do not list party affiliation.
The surge in early voting is due to the fact that almost all states have expanded postal voting and personal early voting to protect public health in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump has consistently railed against postal voting throughout the 2020 election cycle, claiming – without evidence – that it leads to fraud. Despite criticism of this practice, Trump cast his vote by mail in Florida as early as August.
His campaign has filed several lawsuits against states for vote-counting practices, including an attempt to temporarily stop the processing of mail ballots in Las Vegas, Nevada, and to prevent Pennsylvania counties from using mailboxes to collect mail. Both actions were blocked or dismissed by the judges.
Trump told reporters in North Carolina on Sunday that his campaign would continue to launch lawsuits after Election Day.
“We will go in with our lawyers the night after this election is over,” he said.