This nation of ours is a beautiful place, at least at times. The aspirations that we have as Americans are just and kind: All are created equal, and have the right to pursue happiness in a place that looks to provide liberty and justice for all.
Sure, it’s not alway as pretty as the prophecy, but we have been given the power to change that here in the United States. Our freedoms allow us to exercise our rights en masse, particularly when it comes to voting for our elected officials.
It’s something that we have taken for granted in the past, with tens of millions of registered voters simply abstaining from casting a ballot in previous elections. In 2020, however, it seems that Americans aren’t leaving anything up to chance.
The record-smashing crowds casting ballots early in battleground Georgia owe their size at least in part to people changing their minds about voting by mail after President Donald Trump and other Republicans spent months criticizing the method.
In the first eight days of voting, nearly 1.7 million Georgians voted absentee or in-person, a 142% increase from the same period in the 2016 race, state data show. Of those, more than 980,000 voted in person.
Long lines are forming at polling places across the country, including Florida, where in-person voting started Monday.
A look at the first day of voting in Georgia showed just how many ditched their mail-in ballots. On Oct. 12, about 25,000 of the 128,000 voters who swamped the state’s polling stations signed affidavits to cancel mail ballots at the same time, according to University of Florida elections expert Michael McDonald.
This number will almost certainly increase, with two weeks still remaining before election day.
Georgia’s shift to booming a swing state comes as the metropolitan sprawl of Atlanta now makes up more than half of the state’s entire population.
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