Early voters cast their ballots for US midterm elections

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More than 40 million Americans have already cast their ballots, either in person or through the mail, according to the US Elections Project, which tracks early voting.

Because some states allow ballots to be mailed on election day, experts say it might be days or weeks before the outcome of some close races – and control of Congress – is clear.

Thus far, polling problems have not been widely reported. In Georgia, where one of the nation’s most closely contested Senate races is unfolding, election officials acknowledged on Friday that they erroneously failed to mail 1,046 absentee ballots to people who had requested them.

County officials said about half of the voters either voted early or received a replacement ballot overnight and recommended that the rest vote in person. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on Sunday (November 6), seeking to extend the deadline to return the ballots past Election Day on Tuesday (November 8).

US President Biden has warned that a Republican victory could weaken the foundations of US democracy itself. “Democracy is literally on the ballot,” he said at a rally in Yonkers, New York on Sunday.

Many Republican candidates have echoed Donald Trump’s claims of fraud in his 2020 election defeat. Some of them could end up as governors or election administrators in battleground states and play a central role in the 2024 presidential race.

Trump, whose endorsements played a critical role in shaping the Republican field, remains the party’s dominant figure, and he has repeatedly hinted that he plans to launch another presidential run soon.

With narrow control of the House and the Senate, Biden’s Democrats helped him to fulfil campaign promises to boost clean energy, fight the COVID-19 pandemic and finance the rebuilding of some crumbling roads and bridges.

But surging inflation and concerns about high crime have led many voters to sour on his leadership. Only 40% of Americans approve of his job performance, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Tuesday.