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DENVER (AP) – More than two-thirds of all US citizens of voting age participated in the 2020 presidential election, according to a new report from the US Census Bureau, and 69% of those who voted by mail or by ballot anticipated in person – the methods that Republicans in some states are cutting back.
It’s an explosion in the use of mail and early voting compared to four years earlier, when only 40% of voters voted this way. The change was in part the result of the pandemic, which prompted health officials to urge voters to stay away from crowded in-person polling stations.
The numbers are part of a Census Bureau voter survey released Thursday that offers new details on the extraordinary turnout in the 2020 presidential race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. According to estimates by some experts, the election posted the highest turnout since 1900, before women were eligible to vote.
Trump pointed to the high number of mail-in and advance votes to suggest the election was filled with fraud and irregularities. These false statements are now driving a GOP effort in several states to make postal voting more difficult and to reduce the number of early voting days.
The Census Bureau survey found that the turnout increased the most among Latinos, up 6.1 percentage points, and white voters, who saw an increase of 5.6 percentage points per compared to 2016. Black voters saw the smallest increase, with their turnout increasing 3.2 percentage points four years ago. .
While 63% of African Americans voted, that rate fell short of the record 65% who voted in 2008, when the country’s first black president, Barack Obama, was first elected. In 2020, 71% of white citizens and 59% of Latino citizens voted, according to the Census Bureau.
Whites made up 71% of those who voted, down 2% from four years earlier. Yet because white voters are the demographic with the highest turnout, they had disproportionate power in elections – they’re just 67% of U.S. citizens 18 and older, according to the census.
Census Bureau estimates confirm what many election analysts have long known about the turnout spike in 2020.
“We knew it was a high turnout election and the census found something similar,” said Michael McDonald, a professor of political science at the University of Florida who runs ElectProject.org, which tracks the turnout. participation in the 18th century.
McDonald’s found that the 2020 election featured the highest turnout since 1900, while the Census Bureau reports a higher turnout as recently as the 1992 presidential election. in the census are based on a survey with a margin of error, while McDonald’s uses the number of votes cast, which explains part of the discrepancy.
The census found that the 2020 election featured the largest increase in the number of votes between two presidential elections, with 17 million more people voting on Trump’s re-election than the number who voted to make it or not to be president. in 2016.