The United States Postal Service has stated that it takes seven days to safely deliver ballots which means it is now too late for Americans to continue voting by mail ahead of Tuesday's election. Data from the U.S. Elections Project shows that 28,378,765 in-person votes and 53,663,285 mail ballots have been cast so far, approximately 82 million in total as of October 30, 2020 at 1:47am ET. That's already significantly higher than the 56 million early votes cast in the 2016 presidential election. The coronavirus pandemic is certainly the driving force behind the early voting surge but there are other reasons such as a high level of voter enthusiasm. That is especially clear among younger voters aged 18 to 29, 46 percent of whom turned out in 2016. This year, a Harvard Youth Poll has forecast it could climb to 63 percent.
The early voting wave has been highest in the U.S. states that have the biggest populations. California has led the way with 9.17 million in-person and mail ballots so far, followed by Texas with 8.53 million. Florida rounds off the top-three with 7.39 million. The data shows that the number of people who have voted so far is around 60 percent of the total number of votes counted in the 2016 election with that share noticeably higher in some parts of the country. In Texas, for example, the total number of early voters represents 95 percent of the state's entire 2016 vote. That has fueled Democrats' slim hopes of flipping the GOP stronghold on Tuesday.