Americans have cast over 71 million ballots in the upcoming election, comprising more than 50 percent of the total votes counted in the 2016 election, according to the U.S. Elections Project.
An early Wednesday morning update from the U.S. Elections Project, led by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald, showed that 71,063,593 people have cast their ballots. Of those, 47,753,131 were cast by mail, while in-person votes comprised 23,310,462 of the ballots. The current numbers comprise over 51 percent of the total votes counted four years ago.
Registered Democrats currently hold an edge in total votes cast, though the data is based only on the states that provide their party registration data. Those states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota. Based on those states, Democrats hold a 6.5 million ballot lead. Those with no party affiliation have cast 7.7 million votes in those states.
The Democrats’ overall edge nationally stems from the influx of vote-by-mail, returning 13.7 million mail-in ballots to the Republicans’ 6.9 million, based on the party data from the states listed above. According to the data, 11.2 million ballots requested by Democrats have yet to be returned. Republicans have 7.9 million outstanding ballots.
While Democrats hold a clear lead due to voting by mail, Republicans are leading them in the early in-person vote. Over 3.1 million Republicans have cast their ballots in the early voting period, comprising 41.5 percent of the early vote turnout. Over 2.8 million Democrats have done the same, as of early Wednesday morning.
The phenomenon is even clearer in individual states, such as Florida. While Democrats hold a sizeable lead in total votes cast due to an increase in absentee voting, Republicans have consistently narrowed the gap throughout the early voting period.
Democrats held a 486,797 ballot advantage, overall, on October 21. According to Wednesday’s data from the Florida Division of Elections, Republicans have since narrowed the gap to 245,912.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has been holding campaign events to encourage supporters to get out and vote early in recent days. She will do the same in Arizona on Wednesday. President Donald Trump will also appear in the Grand Canyon State, holding rallies in Bullhead City and Goodyear.