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Early and absentee voting ramps up as almost 7.3 million ballots cast in 2022 midterms

<i>Megan Varner/Getty Images</i><br/>Nearly 7.3 million ballots have already been cast across 39 states in the midterm elections.
Megan Varner
Megan Varner/Getty Images
Nearly 7.3 million ballots have already been cast across 39 states in the midterm elections.

By Melissa Holzberg DePalo and Ethan Cohen, CNN

Nearly 7.3 million ballots have already been cast across 39 states, according to data from election officials, Edison Research and Catalist. Pre-election voting remains on pace with 2018, the highest midterm voter turnout in recent history, across the states where Catalist has data for both cycles.

However, it’s still too early to say if total voter turnout will exceed 2018, as voting habits may have significantly shifted in recent years.

Florida, which is home to gubernatorial and Senate contests this year, has had the most ballots cast of any of those 39 states, with more than 1 million pre-election ballots cast. Georgia, a battleground state with one of the most competitive Senate contests in this cycle, has had more than 800,000 ballots cast.

Black voters in Georgia have cast more pre-election ballots than they did at this point of the cycle in 2020 and 2018, according to data from Catalist, a company that provides data, analytics and other services to Democrats, academics and nonprofit issue-advocacy organizations and is giving insights into who is voting before November.

This time around, Black voters in the Peach State have made up 35% of the pre-election ballot cast share. At this point in the 2020 cycle, they made up 33% of ballots cast, and in 2018 they were 32%. White voters in Georgia are on pace with their early voting ballot share from 2020, but down from their share in 2018. At this point in 2020 and now, White Georgia voters have cast 60% of the pre-election ballots. At this time in 2018, they had cast 64%.

In Pennsylvania, Black voters make up a substantially smaller share of pre-election voters than they did at this point of the cycle in 2020. In the Keystone State, 88% of ballots cast have come from White voters, and only 7% have come from Black voters. Two years ago at this time, White voters made up 81% of those casting pre-election ballots, and Black voters made up 13%.

Black voters in Michigan have also cast a smaller share of pre-election ballots than they had at this point two years ago, but the drop is not as dramatic.

Black Michigan voters have cast 10% of pre-election ballots so far this year, and White voters have cast 86%.

At this point in 2020, Black voters cast 12% to White voters’ 83%, and in 2018 Black voters had cast 9% to 88% cast by White voters.

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