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More than 50 million have voted early in US election: monitor

Voters are smashing records for casting ballots ahead of Election Day on November 3 in order to avoid crowded polling centres and long lines out of fear of catching the coronavirus.

In this photo taken on 19 October 2020, voters wait in line to cast their early ballots at Miami Beach, Florida, City Hall. Picture: AFP

WASHINGTON - More than 50 million Americans have voted early in the White House race pitting President Donald Trump against Democrat Joe Biden, a group monitoring balloting said Friday.

Voters are smashing records for casting ballots ahead of Election Day on 3 November in order to avoid crowded polling centres and long lines out of fear of catching the coronavirus.

The tally by the US Elections Project, run by the University of Florida, said more than 35 million people have now voted by mail and more than 15 million in person by leaving their ballots in designated drop boxes.

The tally already surpasses all 47 million votes cast early in the 2016 election, and there is still more than a week to go.

Early voting rules vary by state. One of the most populous, New York, gets started only on Saturday, so that will increase the tally even more.

Democrats are urging people to vote early as a precaution, and in some cases, long lines have formed at places where voters can drop off their ballots.

Without providing evidence, Trump, who is trailing Biden in national polls and in key battleground states, has insisted that mail-in voting is prone to fraud.

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