November 3 was election night for the "US of A," much to the woe of thousands of anxious citizens. However there is a bright side to this nightmare of an election: voter turnout. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and general apathy from the American people toward voting for two old guys, 2020 voter turnout was recorded at record-breaking high numbers across the nation.
The Associated Press reports that currently over 140 million Americans have voted nationwide. This means that not only has the 2020 election surpassed the 2016 election turnout of 138 million votes, but it is also on track to break the voter turnout record set in 1900 of 73.7% of all eligible voters turning in a ballot.
Photo: Associated Press
On a state-wide level, voting turnout records have also been broken. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson reported that Michigan had a record turnout of 5.26 million votes, beating the previous state record of 5 million votes set by the 2008 election.
Photo: Detroit Free Press
Key swing state Wisconsin reported about 71% of eligible voters (3.2 million to be exact) cast their ballots according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. While this number did not come close to breaking its state-wide electoral record of 89% voter turnout, it was far and above the numbers of the 2001 and 2016 elections.
Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Despite not yet having all of its votes counted, the newly-named swing-state Georgia has about 4.9 million votes counted as of yet, with 3.9 million of those ballots being early voters according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. To put this into perspective, the 3.9 million early ballots cast before election day in 2020 is equal to the total votes cast in Georgia in the 2016 election.
Photo: Atlanta Journal Constitution
In terms of demographics the 2020 election has seen the rise of young voters between the ages of 18-29. Over 10 million young voters have participated in the 2020 election, which surpasses the youth turnout in the 2016 election according to the CIRCLE research team at Tuft University.
Photo: CIRCLE Research Team, Tuft University
As more and more young adults register to vote across the nation and even at San Joaquin Memorial, it is fantastic to hear that people are taking part in the political process and are making their voice heard. We can only hope that this trend of higher voter turnouts will continue in the future elections to come.