(NewsNation) — All but five states nationwide allow some form of in-person early voting, and as of Wednesday morning, 22 states have already started.
Nearly half of the country has begun in-person early voting, plus more states allow voters to mail in their ballots ahead of the election. About 3.5 million Americans nationwide have already cast their votes, according to Election Project. It’s an impressive turnout for year with no presidential candidates on the ballot.
In states like Arizona, Georgia, Ohio and Virginia, voting is already underway. Typically in a presidential election year, turnout is much higher than in midterm elections. But so far, in some states, races are pushing turnout to incredible midterm numbers.
Georgia is one of those states, garnering 134,045 early voters on day one. That’s almost double the voters compared to the previous midterm election in 2018, according to the U.S. Elections Project.
Georgia is one of the most-watched states this year. The race between Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams is expected to be tight. The U.S. Senate race between Republican Herschel Walker and Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock could also determine which party takes control of the Senate.
In Florida, early and mail-in votes combined have already exceeded 600,000. They, too, have high-profile governor and Senate races.
NewsNation senior contributor George Will said a surge of early voting can be but isn’t necessarily a sign of civic health.
“A lot of people may be voting because this is a sign of polarization and an undercurrent of anger throughout the country,” he said. “Let’s hope it’s not just that.”