Speed Reads

Democracy in action

2020 election sees highest voter turnout in a century

More Americans cast ballots this year than they have in a century — and all the votes aren't even counted yet.

So far, 63.9 percent of Americans eligible to vote cast a ballot in the 2020 election, the highest portion since 1908's record 65.7 percent turnout. Turnout in all but eight states is projected to exceed 40-year records, with turnout in Minnesota and Wisconsin coming close to 80 percent, The Washington Post reports.

Overall, total 2020 turnout is projected to rise to 66.5 percent once all votes are tallied. That'll be the highest portion since 1900's 73.7 percent turnout among eligible voters. A much smaller voter pool was eligible to cast ballots in the 1900 and 1908 elections, as women, Asian Americans, and some Native Americans could not vote, and other non-white Americans were discouraged from voting through Jim Crow laws and intimidation.

Voter turnout has been on pace to exceed records since Americans began casting early votes weeks before the election. Increased access to voting via absentee ballots and early voting likely played a big role in driving turnout.