With eight days to go before Election Day in the United States, more people have already cast their ballots during the early voting window than was the case for the entire early voting period in 2016. According to estimates, this weekend saw the tally surpass the 58 million mark which was the figure for all mail or in-person voting during the early period before Election Day four years ago.
In New York City, long lines greeted poll-workers in a State that allowed early-in person voting for the first time ever in a presidential election with similar scenes in other states, pointing to high levels of enthusiasm in what many are billing the most important election in their lifetimes.
Queues snaked for blocks at early voting venues in the country’s most populous city, emulating scenes that have dotted the voter landscape throughout the country with forecasters expecting 2020 to produce the highest voter turnout in 112 years.
Brianne Demler is an early voter in New York City.
“For me personally, I think this is probably the most important election of my life. Anyway, so, I think I’d rather get it done, get it in, feel good about it, do my civic duty, and be ready for when it happens. Just to make sure it all gets in, it’s all voted through. I’m excited about it. I’m excited to vote today.”
David Bruce also voted this past weekend.
“You know, there are different options to vote. I really wanted to do it in person and I’m really excited and there are several days of early voting and I wanted to come on the first day and there’s something about going in person and filling it out myself that I feel is secure.”
Voting in Florida
There were similar scenes in the critical swing state of Florida where President Donald Trump also cast his early vote on Saturday.
“I voted for a guy named Trump. Thank you very much, everybody,” said Trump after voting.
The rush to vote is a clear sign of the intense interest in the contest between the incumbent and his Democratic rival.
Trump supporter Joseph Bowden voted in Coral Gables in the sunshine state.
“I think people should vote for the party they believe is more about personal freedoms than about more laws and rules and stuff like that. I think people should vote for freedom of choice. People should be free to choose what they want to choose. You don’t like it, that’s tough sometimes.”
Teresa Verges voted for Biden in this key swing state.
“This is a lifetime election. This is a very important election because it’s time to end the divisiveness, the corruption, the hate and with respect to the actual policies of this administration, I think that they’ve been quite harmful.”
As the swing state focus continues with President Trump expected in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada this week while Joe Biden will travel to Georgia and Florida, the two are articulating divergent messaging on the COVID-19 pandemic as cases continue to surge to record levels across the country.
“If I don’t win this state, I’m going to come back and I’m going to be very angry at you. Epic job growth, groundbreaking therapies, a safe vaccine that quickly ends the pandemic. By the way, with or without it, and we have it, great companies. But we’re rounding the turn … drives them crazy when I say it, we’re rounding the turn. Cases, cases, always cases. They don’t use the other words,” said Trump.
Biden criticized the government’s response to the virus.
“We saw him refuse to take responsibility for the crisis that should have been met with real presidential leadership. Instead, it has cost hundreds of thousands of Americans’ lives and pushed millions into poverty. We saw him diminish the pain felt by so many Americans. (flash) He’s given up. He’s quit on you. He’s quit on your family. He’s quit on America. He just wants us to grow numb and resigned to the horrors of this death toll and the pain it’s causing so many Americans.”
Trump’s tenure under scrutiny ahead of elections:
The US have now officially arrived at the final stretch and this is the state of the race – record numbers turning up to vote, swing states that, as usual, will determine the outcome, and a president who is trailing his opponent – that’s the broad consensus across multiple high-quality polls.
But if 2016 taught us anything, its does not count President Trump out – even though his path to a second term is getting increasingly narrow.