Voters around the nation had shorter wait times and fewer issues at the polls on Election Day compared with previous years.
More than 800,000 Arkansans cast their ballots early, leaving polling locations around the state largely free of long lines. That’s on top of a surge of mail-in ballots.
Karen Hobert Flynn, president of the group Common Cause, said while extended early voting and other measures were made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, she believes they should be implemented for every election going forward.
“I think this is evidence that when we expand voting access to give people more options to vote, whether it’s by mail, curbside voting or extended early voting, we have fewer problems on Election Day,” Flynn contended.
Flynn added record-breaking voter turnout this year shows people will vote if they can do so in a way that works for them.
So far, according to data from the U.S. Elections Project, more than 100 million early votes have been cast by mail or in person. That’s more than two-thirds of the total number of votes cast nationwide in 2016.
Official vote numbers won’t be known for a few days, but experts say national voter turnout potentially could be the highest ever recorded in a modern-day presidential election.
Flynn thinks Americans should demand lawmakers begin working on a national standard of voting reforms that states can follow for the next election cycle.
“We need to increase access to the ballot, automatic voter registration in every state and same-day registration as a fail-safe,” Flynn asserted. “These are not new ideas. Many states have adopted these kinds of reforms.”
All 75 counties in Arkansas have now reported election results, with President Donald Trump winning around 62 percent of votes. Republican Sen. Tom Cotton also won re-election, garnering around 66 percent of votes.