More than 756,000 votes have already been cast in November’s election, with more to come in the weeks before Election Day. Most of those ballots have been returned via the mail, as in-person early voting has just started. In Iowa, at least 117,000 mailed ballots have already been returned to election offices, according to Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political science professor who tracks voter turnout. The data doesn’t indicate voter preference, just how many ballots were returned.
Early and in-person absentee voting is underway in nine states, and this week will see seven more begin some form of pre-election day voting. In Florida, where early voting doesn’t begin until Oct. 29, more than 2.6 million voters have requested absentee ballots already, although less than 200,000 have been returned. More than 46,000 voters in Minnesota have cast ballots through Oct. 6, about 17 percent of the total that did so before election day in 2012.
Because the process of early and absentee voting varies from state to state, we’ll get more information from some states sooner, while others won’t start reporting pre-election activity until later in October.