Voting (stock)
Voting (stock)ISTOCK

Tuesday’s presidential election in the US saw voter participation rates hitting the highest level in more than a century, according to a study of preliminary results.

Roughly 160 million people voted in the US election, according to analysis by the Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida and head of the Elections Project.

That’s up about 12 million votes compared to 2016, when just over 138 million votes were cast.

The increase in the number of votes was fueled in part by population growth over the past four years, but also by an increase in the turnout level.

While 60.1% of eligible voters turned out in 2016, it is estimated that 66.9% of eligible voters participated in this week’s election.

If correct, that would be the highest voter turnout level since the presidential election of 1900, when 73.7% of eligible voters turned out to vote.

The 2020 election also set a record for the highest number of votes cast before election day, with just under 100 million ballots either mailed in or cast in early in-person voting before November 3rd. By comparison, about 47 million votes were cast early in 2016.