Early voting in 2020 vs. 2016: These maps will show you which states are seeing bigger turnout so far

As voters aim to avoid Election Day crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic, early voting in 2020 is smashing records.

Early voting in 2020 vs. 2016: These maps will show you which states are seeing bigger turnout so far
[Photo: Phillip Goldsberry/Unsplash]

The number of people either mailing in their ballots or voting early in person this year continues to dwarf comparable levels seen four years ago. With five days to go until Election Day 2020, early voter turnout in some states is more than six times what it was in 2016.


Here’s the latest count from the U.S. Elections Project as of Thursday morning:

  • 77.9 million: total early votes

Among the states that report party affiliation (not all of them do), here’s how the votes break down by party:

  • 47% Democrats
  • 29.6% Republicans
  • 0.6% Minor
  • 22.8% No Party Affiliation

You can check out the full numbers and interactive map on the U.S. Elections Project website. The site’s creators caution that these numbers should not be seen as indicating that either Donald Trump or Joe Biden is “winning” the election so far. Suffice it to say, election officials will have a lot of counting to do next week.

How do 2020 numbers compare to 2016?

As the Washington Post reports, about 139 million people voted in 2016, so we’re already at more than half of the total votes cast in that election.

If we’re looking at just early votes, the Associated Press has been keeping track of how 2020 compares with 2016.

  • Check out the AP’s early-voting map here.

In all but a handful of states, early-voting numbers have far exceeded 2016 levels. Here are some standouts as of October 28, per AP:

  • Kansas: 960% of 2016 levels
  • New Hampshire: 705% of 2016 levels
  • Oregon: 682% of 2016 levels
  • Connecticut: 509% of 2016 levels
  • Pennsylvania: 359% of 2016 levels

You can see the full dataset and map here.

Worth noting that all these numbers are sure to change even more dramatically in the coming days as more voters aim to avoid Election Day lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of early voters has more than doubled in just the past 10 days and we’re now in the home stretch. So go vote!

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine