The rush to polling stations in the US continues
Long lines, hours of waiting: less than three weeks before the actual date of the US presidential election, the rush to the polling stations continues. More than 17.8 million American citizens have now taken the opportunity to vote before November 3, reported Thursday on the specialized website US Elections Project. The actual number is likely to be much higher: not all states publish data on the current vote.
Most US states allow citizens to hand in their ballots or by mail before the actual election date. Polling stations opened this week in Texas and Georgia, among others. Long lines formed in many places and voters sometimes waited more than ten hours.
“I want to make sure my vote is counted before anything can happen between now and Election Day,” Solmaz Afshar, a nurse waiting outside a polling station in Houston, Texas, told AFP. Charles Hawkins, financial adviser, said the election was “very important”: “The future of our country is at stake and I want to do my part.”
A record number of votes were reported from various states. In the controversial key state of Florida, about 2.1 million people have already voted, in Texas 1.65 million people, in California 1.69 million people, according to the American election project of political professor Michael McDonald.
The figures show that supporters of the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in particular voted in advance. “The numbers are very good for Biden,” said policy professor McDonald. “But it is very likely that large numbers of Republicans will vote in person (on November 3).”
In recent months, several studies had shown that in view of the corona pandemic, a particularly large number of Democratic voters want to vote by mail to avoid going to the polling station on November 3. According to media reports, many voters have changed their minds and are now voting in person. The background to this is the fear of a chaotic post-election process, given the expected enormous increase in postal voting.
President Donald Trump has been raising doubts about the postal election for months, describing them as a gateway to widespread electoral fraud. Experts absolutely disagree. Observers fear Trump could refuse to acknowledge a possible election defeat on charges of electoral fraud.
In polls less than three weeks before the election, the incumbent party is in some cases significantly behind its challenger Biden. (AFP)