SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Voters are flocking to early voting locations Saturday as New Mexico expands early balloting in the lead-up to Election Day. At an early voting center in Santa Fe, cars lined up hours ahead of the 10 a.m. opening time. Reports of slow mail and long in-person voting lines in other states motivated many voters to show up early. Scores of voting convenience centers opened Saturday amid a surge in early in-person and remote absentee balloting. Those centers accept voters from across their home county without regard to traditional precinct assignments. According to the Secretary of State’s office, more than 180,000 ballots have been cast statewide as of Friday.
A record-setting amount of early voting has changed the 2020 election. More than 22 million people have voted so far, which is about 16% of all votes cast in 2016. Experts predict there may be higher turnout in this election than in any presidential contest since 1908. Democrats so far are overwhelmingly more engaged than Republicans. That does not necessarily mean Democrats will win the election, because most Republicans are expected to vote on Election Day. President Donald Trump has persuaded many of his voters to avoid mail voting that has fueled much of the early turnout.