US: Record turnouts nationwide in early voting as virus looms

Over 14 million Americans have already voted in the presidential election, with long lines awaiting their turn at polling stations.

Nissan Tzur ,

Joe Biden and Donald Trump
Joe Biden and Donald Trump

With just under three weeks to go till the highly-anticipated U.S. presidential election, many Americans have preferred to vote in the voting stations that have opened early.

According to data released by the Electoral Commission, over 14 million Americans have already voted, breaking an all-time high.

In swing states like Florida, over two million people have already voted. Some residents of neighboring Georgia waited for up to eight hours to exercise of their democratic right to vote. Many shared their experiences from early voting on social media, recalling the long lines at various polling stations.

Hours of waiting haven't been the only obstacle facing voters in the 2020 presidential race. Technical glitches have caused lengthy delays across the nation. Some voters faced police barriers in place due to coronavirus traveling restrictions along with computer issues, while in other locations, legal clashes temporary shut down voting booths.

Both the Democrats and Republicans have encouraged supporters to participate in early voting due to the dangers of large voter gatherings during the coronavirus crisis. In recent days, the U.S. has seen a significant increase in virus infections in swing states incuding Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Health experts have joined politicians, warning that large Election Day crowds could exacerbate health risks. The Election Commission announced that 50,000 ballots had already been cast in 122 early polling stations as of last Tuesday.