Nearly 140 million votes have been cast so far, the highest amount ever in a US presidential election

  • Almost 140 million votes have been cast in the 2020 election so far, according to results from Insider and Decision Desk HQ.
  • This marks the highest number of ballots counted in a presidential election ever, exceeding 2016's record of 137.1 million votes.
  • Votes are still being tallied across the nation as the US is on track to shatter turnout rates in recent election history.
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The US is currently recording the highest number of votes ever counted in a presidential election, according to results from Insider and Decision Desk HQ.

As of midday Wednesday, nearly 140 million ballots have been cast. The tally exceeds 2016's record of 137.1 million votes.

The 2020 total is only expected to soar in the coming hours, days and potentially weeks, as votes continue to be counted across the country. On Wednesday, battleground states such as North Carolina and Pennsylvania remain undecided, and large states, including California and Texas, have also not yet reported 100% of their results. 

The country is on pace to shatter recent turnout rates, which measures the number of voters against the total eligible-voting population, though that percentage won't come until the total number of votes is finalized.

The last highest turnout rate over the past 50 years was in 2008, at 61.6%.

The major turnout so far can be largely owed to a massive wave of early voting this election cycle. Around 100 million people voted ahead of Election Day — roughly 73.4% of the nationwide 2016 total, according to the US Elections Project.

The unprecedented amount of early votes stemmed from the coronavirus pandemic, which heightened public health concerns over in-person voting on Election Day. States took extra measures to expand early voting durations and access to mail-in ballots. 

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has received the most votes in the race as of midday Wednesday, in large part to Democrats' voting by mail. He leads President Donald Trump by almost 3 million votes. 

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