https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/3707908-early-voting-total-climbs-to-14m-across-us-research/

More than 14.4 million people have voted so far in next month’s midterm elections, according to the United States Elections Project.

The project, which is managed by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald, tracked early voting activity in 41 states that have reported data so far.

Most of the votes — about 9.5 million — comprise mail ballots, while nearly 5 million others were cast in person.

Early voting patterns have shifted significantly in recent years amid the pandemic and states altering their voting laws, and former President Trump and some in the GOP have railed against mail-in voting.

Voting in some states has already surpassed the level seen at the same point in the 2018 midterms, including in Georgia, a purple state that has become home to some of this election cycle’s most high-profile races.

More than 1 million voters have cast ballots in Georgia as of earlier this week, smashing early voting records.

“Congratulations, Georgia voters! We’ve reached 1 MILLION cast votes. Election officials deserve our thanks for rising to the challenge & working hard to serve our communities,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) wrote on Twitter Tuesday night

Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) is facing a tough re-election battle against his Republican opponent, Herschel Walker, in what is expected to be one of a handful of close races that will determine which party wins control of the upper chamber.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), meanwhile, is facing a rematch against Stacey Abrams (D) next month, which comes four years after he narrowly defeated her.

Florida residents have cast the most ballots out of any state, with more than 1.8 million early ballots cast so far, according to the analysis.

In the 21 states that report voting data by party registration, about 48 percent of the ballots cast so far came from registered Democrats, while 31.2 percent came from registered Republicans.

But those figures do not necessarily reflect which party the voters supported in the election, and some Republicans have also encouraged voters to only cast ballots on Election Day.

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