For Democrats, promising stories of increased early voting turnout for the 2018 midterm election have been coming out of several states over the last couple days.
In a possible boon for Democrats, voters in South Florida are streaming to early-voting sites at a rate that is more than double the turnout for the last midterm election.
Turnout in Palm Beach County doubled from 5,315 to 10,696 for the first day, even with polling hours remaining the same and one fewer site being offered to voters.
With polls open two hours earlier in the morning and two additional sites, Broward County saw its turnout increase from 6,459 during the 2014 first day of early voting to 16,202.
Miami-Dade added four hours of voting and three sites. Early voting increased from 4,828 in 2014 to 15,109 on Monday.
The first week of early voting in Georgia’s midterms attracted a steady stream of voters who, in some cases, were willing to wait in line for hours to cast a ballot.
As of Thursday, nearly 400,000 people had already voted either in person or with an absentee ballot. That’s almost 6 percent of the state’s 6.9 million registered voters, and that’s just from four days of voting.
The number of people heading to the polls on the first day of voting was about three times higher than in 2014, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Early voting is available in every county.
According to data posted by Nevada’s secretary of state, Clark County voters cast their ballots in record numbers on Saturday, the first of 14 days of early voting, with Democrats taking a significant lead. Democrats also posted early vote leads in Washoe County, which has more registered Republicans. It’s a stark contrast to the last midterm election, when the party lost statewide in Nevada after a poor early vote showing.
More than 150,000 Cuyahoga County voters have cast ballots early in person or have requested mail-in ballots.
The increase is 14 percent compared to 2014, the last midterm election, Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Director Pat McDonald said.
Harris County residents on Monday set a new record for the first day of early voting in a midterm election, as 63,188 went to the polls to cast ballots.
The turnout smashed the previous mark, set in 2010, by more than 35,000 votes, and came on the same day both major party candidates for the U.S. Senate, Gov. Greg Abbott and President Donald Trump campaigned in downtown Houston.
While these stories are certainly encouraging, it is also good to remember that there were similar stories in 2016 that were promising for the Hillary Clinton campaign:
There are hints of good news for Hillary Clinton in key battleground states as millions of Americans vote early, according to a CNN analysis of the latest early voting statistics.
More than 3.3 million Americans have already voted. And among that group, Democrats have improved their position in North Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and even Utah compared to this point in 2012.
Despite good early voting numbers, Hillary Clinton ended up losing North Carolina, Arizona, and Utah.
In Wisconsin, the number of early voters to date more than tripled, jumping from 46,389 to 142,190. In-person early voting started in late October four years ago. But after a federal court struck down Wisconsin’s strict voting laws, early voting began several weeks earlier in the Badger State this year.
Hillary Clinton ended up losing Wisconsin.
And in Republican-leaning Georgia, early voting is up by about 25% this year compared to 2012. That was clear Wednesday in Lawrenceville, where about 200 people lined up to vote in the county’s only early voting location. Waiting times were two hours, officials said, and dragged longer in the afternoon.
And Hillary Clinton also lost Georgia.
If you are a Democrat, it is good to be encouraged by all of the early voting stories you will be seeing over the next two weeks. But, it is also important to not get complacent. This election will not be decided until November 6. Get out and vote.