More than 17.8 million Americans have already voted by mail or in person, according to a report, last updated Thursday at the University of Florida’s Projet Election.

It is a record in this highly polarized election between New York billionaire Donald Trump, who is running for a second term, and former US Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading national polls.

In Iowa, a Midwestern state in which the president attended an election rally on Wednesday, voting could take place on Oct. 5, and more than 325,000 voters voted Thursday, according to Projet Election.

In Newton, a small town in Jasper County, the mobilization is visible. “In 2016, we had 8,200 (early votes) in this county, and three weeks before the election we already have 8,000, so we will break the record,” a representative of a polling station, Dennis Parrott, told AFP.

Some voters, such as Jeff Maki, who avoids voting by mail, fear that the ballot may not arrive in time to be considered.

“To make sure my vote counts, I would like to vote in person in advance,” said the 44-year-old insurance agent, who votes with conservatives. Donald Trump won this state in 2016.

The dynamic is currently in favor of Barack Obama’s former vice president, but the election result has not been decided by any means, warns Professor Michael McDonald, leader of Projet Election.

“We have warned that the important Democratic tendency to vote at this stage should not be seen as an indication that Mr Biden has won in advance,” he said, adding that “it is very likely that Republicans will be outnumbered.” great to vote personally ”on election day.

In all, 43 states and the federal capital, Washington, have implemented early voting systems. Nearly 75 million mailing ballots were ordered or sent – more than double the 33 million in 2016, and special mailboxes or collection points were installed.

These measures respond to a strong demand from voters, who are afraid of being contaminated with covid-19 if they travel on November 3 in crowded polling stations.

In Texas, Harris County, home to the metropolitan area of ​​Houston, recorded a record number of votes since polling stations opened Tuesday. According to preliminary data, 128,186 people traveled on the first day, almost double those of four years ago. In total, more than 525,000 votes were cast – both in person and by mail – in two days.

Red wave

In Georgia, Projet Election counted 916,000 voters who voted early, some of whom waited ten hours to do their civic duty.

Early voting began Thursday in North Carolina, where each camp mobilizes its troops.

Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris was forced to settle for a virtual rally after she canceled her visit to Asheville as a precaution after two members of her entourage tested positive for covid-19. .

Donald Trump went to Greenville, where he promised his supporters “a beautiful, big red wave” – ​​the color of the Republican Party.

The White House tenant denounces the postal vote, which this year would lead to “unprecedented fraud” for the benefit of his opponent – despite the fact that there is no evidence of widespread irregularities in previous elections.

“Not a day goes by without reading that the robbers have taken place, but the red wave will break everything,” he said, urging his troops to vote “on November 3 and before that, when the vote opens.”