The 2018 midterm elections have seen record turnout for early voting, as pre-election surveys show that 36 million people voted early this year, Politico reports.
“This is not a normal election,” University of Florida professor Michael McDonald, whose United State Elections Project provides information about the electoral system, told Politico. “The best guess is that we’re looking at some sort of hybrid midterm/presidential election.”
Early voters in Arizona, Nevada and Texas already outnumber the total number of voters in the previous midterm election, according to McDonald, and other states are expected to far exceed the usual turnout rate for a non-presidential election.
The CEO of Democratic data company TargetSmart, Tom Bonier, told Politico that early voting could reach over 40 million once all the votes are counted, and noted that a high number of non-typical voters have taken part in this year’s elections, many of whom voted for the first time.
“The open question that won’t be answered until [the polls close]: Do those early vote trends carry on through Election Day?” Bonier said. “Or are they reversed? In 2016, in a lot of cases, they were reversed. I don’t think you can bet one way or another at this point.”
He added that “we may see another 60 million votes cast [on Election Day]. Most people who will have ended up voting in this election have still not voted. In the end, what happens on Election Day turnout will, to some extent, swamp what happened in the early vote.”