More than 21 million votes already cast in US election

Data indicates that nearly four times as many people have cast their early ballots this year in comparison to 2016

More than 21 million people have already cast their ballots in the US election as of Friday, using various early voting options, with just over two weeks left until the official election day. The data from the Elections Project would mean that 15.7% of the total votes counted in the 2016 general election have already been cast this time around.

Voting by mail and using drop boxes for ballots sent out through the postal system has increased this year, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic, though the trend has been on the increase for a number of general elections. However, it could also indicate that voters this year have simply made up their minds, solidly, well ahead of election day, in quantities not seen in the past.

There have also been long queues in some states that allow in-person early voting, such as Georgia.

The data would indicate that nearly four times as many people have cast their early ballots this year as at the same point, more or less, in the election cycle in 2016.

Polls indicate President Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, is significantly trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden in national polls, often by low double digits. In key swing states, which the candidates must win in order to capture the White House, the race is tighter, but Biden still has an edge, with Trump's pathway to re-election looking harder, but still not impossible.

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