With ballots still being counted in the 2020 election, you may be wondering how voter turnout compares to that of the last presidential election. In 2016, after then-Republican-nominee Donald Trump ran against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the United States Election Project announced that nearly 139 million citizens cast their ballots for their chosen candidate. By the sheer number, that's not a bad turnout! In fact, 2016 set a record for the all-time highest number of voters in US history. However, Business Insider reported that this number still only represented about 60 percent of the country's eligible voters.
Now, it's safe to say the 2020 election has been, at best, wild. Trump is running for reelection, challenged by former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump and Biden are accompanied on their respective tickets by Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris. Voters have had to navigate a global pandemic, cringeworthy debates, and divergent views from the nominees on virtually every topic in order to cast their ballots. So, how has all this chaos affected voter turnout? Did it reignite the fire to participate in civic duty?
Will 2020 Set a New Record For Voter Turnout?
While the ballots are still being counted, more Americans are expected to have voted in 2020 than in any presidential election in history. This is due, in part, to the enthusiasm shown during early voting. The Washington Post reported that at least 101.9 million people voted through mail-in ballots or at early polling stations in their states. That's 73 percent of the total votes cast in 2016.
Additionally, Biden has already received more votes than any presidential candidate in history, with more than 69.5 million ballots cast in his favor as of Wednesday morning, Nov. 4. While it's still too early to predict an outcome, the number of votes shows that in spite of all of the challenges 2020 has presented, citizens wanted their voices heard.