Early voting shows Democrats leading Republicans in historic battleground surge

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Arizona's first week of early voting has set records, with the number of ballots returned almost doubling from 2018 in the Copper State's three largest counties.

In Maricopa County — home to the state capital of Phoenix — the Recorder's Office reported that ballots processed increased 116% compared with two years ago and 96% in comparison with the 2016 presidential election.

ARIZONA'S BATLLEGROUND COUNTIES START TALLYING EARLY BALLOTS

The Maricopa County elections department told The Arizona Republic Thursday that the second week of processing shows further increases. 

That afternoon, County Recorder Adrian Fontes announced via Twitter that Maricopa had hit 2.6 million active voters.

In the Southwestern Pima County, early voting increased by 92% from 2018, while Pinal County — located between Scottsdale and Tucson — saw an increase of 88%, according to their county recorder offices' data. Compared with four years ago, Pima County's tally rose 56%, and Pinal's spiked by 132%.

The Republic confirmed trends in the Sunbelt battleground currently appear to favor Democrats, with more ballots being mailed and dropped off at voting centers.

An election worker, left, gives instructions for voting at an early voting site, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

From Oct. 7 — when early voting opened – through Oct. 19, almost 281,000 Democrats turned in ballots compared with 218,000 from Republicans.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 people had reportedly shown up at one of the seven in-person voting sites open before locations multiplied on Thursday.

Around 25,000 Arizonans have voted in person compared with approximately 9,000 in the same time period four years ago and 42.3% of Democrats who turned in early ballots had either not voted or voted in just one of the past three election cycles, according to officials. 

Metropolitan areas of Arizona such as Phoenix have seen a demographic shift over the last few years, with the inclusion of new residents, younger voters, and increased participation by the Latino community.

Although voter registration following a 10-day deadline extension slightly favored Republicans over Democrats, Arizona's undecided and independents led the charge. 

Friday is the final day for Arizona voters to request a ballot be sent to them or to be put on the Permanent Early Voting list.

Arizona is not the only state that's observed such a response from early voters. 

In highly coveted Pennsylvania, Democrats are outpacing Republicans in ballot requests, with 1.8 million to Republicans' more than 700,000. 

In Ohio — a key state for President Trump — early ballot tallies from the most populous county show registered Democrats have accounted for 55% of tallied early in-person ballots, while registered Republicans are just at 6%.

This week, Florida's Division of Elections reported 154,004 votes cast by Democrats at early voting locations compared with Republicans' 153,743.

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Nearly 2.7 million mail ballots have been cast in the Sunshine State, with Democrats leading Republicans by 481,631 votes.

Nevertheless, early numbers do not necessarily serve as an accurate prediction of final election results. Historically, Democrats take the mantle in early voting and Republicans vote more on Election Day.

Fox News’ Thomas Barrabi and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

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