In-person early voting is permitted in all but five states, and as of Wednesday morning, 22 states had already begun.
Early voting in person has started in about half of the nation, and more states now permit voters to send their votes in before the election. According to Election Project, 3.5 million Americans have already done so countrywide. Considering there were no presidential candidates on the ballot, the participation was excellent.
Voting has already started in places including Arizona, Georgia, Ohio, and Virginia. Turnout is often substantially greater in presidential election years than it is in midterm elections. But so far, races in several states are driving turnout to astounding midterm levels.
Georgia is one of those states, with 134,045 early voters on the first day. According to the U.S. Elections Project, this is nearly double the number of voters in the previous midterm election in 2018.
This year, Georgia is one of the most closely followed states. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s contest against Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is likely to be close. The election for the United States Senate between Republican Herschel Walker and Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock may potentially determine which party controls the Senate.
In Florida, the total number of early and mail-in ballots cast has now surpassed 600,000. They, too, have hotly contested gubernatorial and Senate campaigns.
According to NewsNation senior contributor George Will, an increase in early voting might be, but is not always, an indication of civic health.
“A lot of people may be voting because there is divisiveness and an undertone of resentment across the country,” he added. “I’m hoping it’s not just that.”