Record 150m Ballots from 65% of Eligible Voters Could Make Election Turnout Highest Since 1908

The U.S. could see record voter turnout in this year's presidential election as President Donald Trump fights to secure a second term. Early voting indicates that turnout could be the highest it's been since 1908 and set a record for 21st century elections.

Fifty million Americans have already cast their ballots as voters avail of early voting amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Up to 85 million people could vote by election day on November 3, which is just 10 days away.

University of Florida Professor Michael McDonald, who runs the U.S. Elections Project, is predicting 150 million votes will be cast. This would be a turnout of 65 percent.

The nation hasn't seen turnout that high in a presidential election since 1908 when Republican William H. Taft defeated Democrat William Jennings Bryan. Taft won the popular vote and an electoral college landslide.

Nearly 240 million American citizens are eligible to vote this year and that figure includes those living overseas.

Early voting records are being broken in several states and are seen as an indicator of large turnout on November 3. In Texas, voting has already passed 70 percent of total turnout in 2016. The state is expected to go to Trump but some polls show Biden within striking distance.

Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina have seen record-breaking turnout for early voting, with some voters in Georgia standing in line for 10 hours. While in Wisconsin, a state crucial to the president's 2016 victory, more than 1 million people cast their ballots over the past week.

Mail-in voting has also played a crucial role in early turnout. Ten times many mail-in ballots have been submitted as this time in 2016, according to USA Today. Fifty-two percent of mail-in votes have been cast by voters who are registered Democrats in the 19 states that report party registration data.

If voter turnout reaches 65 percent, it will surpass turnout for every presidential election in the last 50 years. The 2008 election saw 61.6 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots and elect Barack Obama, the first African American president.

The 2016 election saw voter participation of 58.1 percent with 138 million votes cast. Turnout proved to be crucial in the former "Blue Wall" states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Trump won narrowly in all three, effectively securing him the White House.

Early Voters Line Up in West Virginia
Early voters line up outside of the Vienna Community Building to cast their ballots for the November 3 election, in Vienna, West Virginia, on October 21. The election could see 150 million votes cast. Stephen Zenner / AFP/Getty Images