On Monday, Florida’s first day of in-person voting, thousands of registered voters ran to the polls despite the heavy rain. Thousands of Floridians went to the polls sporting facial coverings and practiced social distancing, in order to cast their ballot for the 2020 presidential election between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
This year the early voting polls have been more filled than the years prior. In communities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota, and St.Petersburg, voters lined up to cast their ballot like it was a new pair of Jordan’s that just dropped. For Florida voters, that’s epic!
Kyle Woodard, a 44-year-old schoolteacher from Pompano Beach, said “it’s just a really important year to vote,” after casting his ballot at the African-American Research Museum in Fort Lauderdale. “I’m really inspired based on what’s going on in the country,” Woodard said. “So the first chance I got, I was going to take it.”
Woodard said President Trump’s constant attacks on mail voting, including unsubstantiated claims that it would result in widespread fraud, are a blatant attempt at voter suppression. “Being Black, I’ve seen a lot of suppression my whole life,” he said. “This is nothing new.”
With early voting starting in the United States and Americans casting ballots by mail at historic numbers, almost 30 million voters have already voted with just two weeks before Election Day. That represents more than a fifth of the total turnout in 2016.
This year the polls are jumping because Democrats are coming in full force. For months, polling data have indicated that Democrats intended to vote early at much higher rates than Republicans, who were reacting to Donald Trump’s false claims that voting by mail would lead to widespread fraud.
About 53% of the early votes were casted by Democrats, according to predictive analysis by the data firm TargetSmart, That’s compared with 36% by voting Republicans.
Hundreds of thousands of more young people have voted at this point, compared with the 2016 election, but they still make up a lower share of the overall total than they did then. Notably, African American voters make up a larger share of early voters than in 2016. More than six times as many African American voters have voted early this year than had at the same point in the last presidential election, according to TargetSmart. (NPR, 2020).
This year, just like every election year, your vote counts! Grab some friends and head over to an early voting site and cast those ballots. Early voting ends November 1st, 2020 at 7:00 PM for Florida Voters.