Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans have decided that their votes matter now more than ever. In fact, U.S. states have witnessed a record turnout in the early voting, both by mail and in-person, for the November 3 presidential election.

According to the U.S. Election Project, more than 40,000,000 Americans have cast their ballots, as of October 20. That’s around 30% of the total number of votes cast in the 2016 elections, and we still have almost 2 weeks left before the election day.

Voters are finding ways to cast their ballots. Younger people, who historically have been difficult to get to the polls, appear to be turning out in larger numbers this year.

The numbers are striking. It was estimated that 20% of the votes cast are by people who did not vote in 2016.

The enormous numbers of voters have led to long lines, with some people waiting for hours. In-person voting began this week in Florida, but over 2 million residents have already mailed their ballots. Meanwhile, in Georgia, voters waited in queues for up to 12 hours to cast in-person votes.

In Ohio, a crucial swing state, more than 2.3 million postal ballots have been requested, double the figure in 2016.

Historically, in Texas, voter turnout has not been anything to brag about. This year, however, they set a record for most ballots cast on the first day of early voting.

Voters determined to vote despite obstacles

Millions of Americans waited for up 12 hours just to exercise their democratic right. Long lines, spanning several city blocks or school parking lots, aren’t the only obstacle voters have faced. Some have reported technical problems that initially slowed the voting process.

Many took to social media to share their experiences with early voting, but many are willing to endure the long lines just to cast their ballots.