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Reports Show That Over One Million Americans Have Cast Their Votes Early, Compared to Less Than 10,000 at This Time in 2016

Photo: Tom Williams via Getty Images

It looks like Americans are taking the initiative and coming out in droves to exercise their most fundamental right as American citizens: to vote

The early data has come in and the results have been astounding: over 1 million Americans have cast their votes early, compared to 9,525 at this same time in 2016. The conclusion is clear: more people are voting early this year than in 2016.

The data comes from University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald, who closely watches, records, and reports voting data on his blog.

“We’ve never seen so many people vote this far in advance of a presidential election before,” McDonald told The Independent. “We are in uncharted territory.”

Why are people voting so early? According to experts, there are multiple theories as to why early voter engagement is so high. One theory is that COVID-19 has former in-person voters to find alternate, safer methods of casting their vote.

“We’re hearing it on both ends [of the political spectrum],” BIPOC voting-turnout organizer Dakota Hall told The Atlantic. “[People are saying:] ‘I’m afraid to vote in person. This virus can potentially be deadly to myself and to my family members.’”

Another theory (in conjunction with the above theory) is that Americans are that much more passionate about the election turnout this year. And they want to make their voices heard.

According to the Pew Center for Research, Americans are not as disillusioned about the importance of voting.

According to one poll that Pew conducted, 83% of registered voters say it really matters who wins the presidency. That is compared to only up 74% in 2016. Also worth noting: that is the highest share in twenty years. 

Whatever the reason for the historic early-voter turnout, one thing is for sure: early voters are voting blue. According to the Washington Post, 52% of voters who requested mail-in ballots in early-voting states have been registered Democrats. Compare that number to only 28% of Republican-registered voter requests.

The rate of voter engagement is encouraging, especially since President Donald Trump has been publicly waging a war against mail-in ballots and the postal service, claiming (without proof) that a surge in mail-in voting will lead to voter fraud. Instead of heading his baseless warnings, it appears that voters are relying on their own instincts and exercising their fundamental right to make their voices heard anyway.

The historic surge in early voting appears to be energizing Americans all across the country.

Excited voters are sharing videos of long lines at polling places in battleground states like Pennsylvania and Virginia.

People are relaying their stories of early voting, reassuring other voters that early-voting is, in fact, safe.

Trump’s transparent attempts at voter suppression don’t seem to be working (at least for now).

There are even reports that the pandemic has actually encouraged people to vote.

If you still have not registered to vote, head over to https://vote.gov/ to get yourself set up for November 8th (or before). Now is your time to make your voice heard!

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Biden/Harris Campaign Appeals To Latino Youths In New Ads Weeks Before Election

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Biden/Harris Campaign Appeals To Latino Youths In New Ads Weeks Before Election

Olivier Douliery / AFP via Getty Images

Politicians understand that courting a broad and diverse coalition of voters is the key to winning the election. That is what paved the way for the 2008 victory of President Barack Obama as well as the House and Senate during the same election. So far, early voting numbers for young voters are way higher than this point in the 2016 election.

The Biden/Harris campaign is going strong to secure the youth vote days before the election.

The youth vote is an elusive vote and has always been. Presiden Barack Obama successfully brought the youth vote out in 2008 and that led to a sweep by Democrats in the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives. The Biden/Harris campaign is hoping for a similar youth turnout in this election to secure their path to the White House.

Biden and Harris are hoping to turn out young Latino voters.

Latinos are a large electoral voting bloc in the 2020 elections. For the first time ever, the Latino vote outnumbers the Black vote. According to the Pew Research Center, there are 32 million eligible Latino voters and that accounts for 13 percent of all eligible voters. This is a major step into democracy for the Latino community.

Youth voters are currently turning out in early voting in record numbers.

In Florida, current early and absentee voting numbers are showing almost 100,000 more early and absentee youth voters than this time in the 2016 election. Some of the increase in participation in early voting among young voters is pandemic still raging in the U.S. There is also an enthusiasm among young voters to get out and vote.

The 2020 election is energizing similar numbers to the 2008 election between President Obama and Sen. John McCain.

According to polling, 63 percent of voters between 18-29 said they are definitely voting in the 2020 election. This is a major increase in voter participation in 2016 and 2018. The number of young people planning to vote this year is much greater than the 47 percent who said they would vote in 2016 and the 40 percent who planned to vote in 2018. Polling further found that 60 percent of young voters strongly favor Biden in the upcoming election.

There is a lot of appreciation for the young people who are turning up and voting for their future.

This is shaping up to be the most important elections in our lifetime. The rights of several marginalized communities are at stake and access to affordable healthcare is being threatened. In the midst of a pandemic, there is a legal challenge by the Trump administration against the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, that has become increasingly popular in recent years.

One of the most crucial parts of the ACA that would be erased if it is overturned is protections for those with pre-existing conditions. President Trump has often spoken about protecting those with pre-existing conditions but striking down the ACA would also eliminate those protections. There has been no plan to replace the ACA presented by the Trump administration or the Republican Party.

READ: Joe Biden Says ‘Healthcare is Not a Privilege, It’s a Right,’ Donald Trump and the GOP Disagree

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Ice Cube Catches Massive Blowback For Teaming Up With the Trump Campaign; Denies He’s Endorsing Him

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Ice Cube Catches Massive Blowback For Teaming Up With the Trump Campaign; Denies He’s Endorsing Him

Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Ice Cube is catching lots of heat for meeting with the Trump campaign to collaborate on policy. According to Ice Cube, he met with the Trump campaign to discuss what he calls a “Contract with Black America“. His 13-point plan proposes a robust overhaul of everything from the banking industry to prison reform.

After meeting with Ice Cube, the Trump campaign adapted the Contract with Black America into what Trump has called his “Platinum Plan”. Trump’s Platinum Plan outlined vague promises of continuing “to seek immediate and generational advancement for Black Americans”. The Platinum Plan proposal also claimed Trump “works every day to advance a fair and just America for the Black Community.”

Ice Cube, for his part, has refuted reports that he approached the Trump campaign specifically. “I didn’t ‘run’ to go work with any campaign. Both campaigns contacted me. Both campaigns wanted to talk to me about the Contract with Black America,” Ice Cube said in an interview with CNN addressing the controversy.

He continued: “[The Biden] campaign said, ‘We love what you have, but let’s really dig into after the election.’ And [the Trump] campaign said ‘We love what you have, do you mind talking to us about it?’ And that’s what I did, so I didn’t ‘run’ to nobody.”

Although Ice Cube says that he would have met with any political party regardless of affiliation in order to get his plan off the ground, critics are still annoyed that he decided to team up with a man who has such a dismal track record with Black Americans.

President Donald Trump has been plagued by accusations of racism throughout his tenure as president as well as before. Not only did he hold a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma (the historical location of a racial massacre) on Juneteenth, but he recently canceled racial sensitivity training, claiming it was “racist”. More recently, Trump has refused to condemn white supremacist organizations like the Proud Boys.

Critics are also expressing concern that the Trump campaign is using Ice Cube as a ploy to entice more Black Americans into voting Republican. These concerns were made more apparent when the President’s son, Eric Trump, tweeted out a photoshopped picture of Ice Cube and 50 Cent sitting side-by-side, both wearing MAGA hats. To his credit, Ice Cube quickly condemned him.

But Ice Cube insists he isn’t endorsing Donald Trump, per se–he’s simply teaming up with whatever political party is more willing to collaborate with him.

“I’m not playing no more of these political games, we’re not part of a team…so I’m going to whoever’s in power and I’m going to speak to them about our problems, specifically,” Ice Cube said in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

It should be worth noting that Ice Cube recently took to his Instagram page to encourage his followers not to vote “unless you get something out of it”.

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