There are still more than 24 hours to go before the polls open across the United States, and already, voter turnout has reached 40% due to early voting and postal voting. Analysts are predicting a record turnout, but with so absentee ballots needing to be verified and tallied, an election-night declaration is very unlikely - the race could well be too close to call for days after the close of the polls.
So, with all that well-flagged and borne in mind...
This would be a coup, right?
Stat corner for the anoraks:
- 93.1m ballots have been cast already
- That's 39% of eligible voters (239.2m) and 61% of registered voters (152.7m)
- Last time turnout was this high was 1908, when the US had 46 states and a voting population of just 11m.
(Bonus fact: when the US Constitution was written, the country had less than 5 million residents.)
2020 is the largest electorate ever, and has opted for postal voting in greater numbers than ever. Pollsters and media speculation have long highlighted the trend towards vote-by-mail in demographics likely to vote Democrat, and that those likely to vote Republican are also most likely to vote in person on election day. (President Trump has specifically urged his supporters to do so.)
The democratic process should be designed to facilitate the will of the people, not to generate good TV on election night. While the Irish system is far from perfect, US elections always make me thankful for PR.
Closer to home, though, the 2021 electoral register is being finalised this month: you can register to vote or check your details online by 25 November at checktheregister.ie.