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Early voting broke records. Officials hope it will lead to a smoother Election Day

November 2, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Millions of Americans have already cast their ballots ahead of Election Day, smashing mail-in and early voting records and raising election officials' hopes that the eye-popping early vote totals will ease the potential for problems, chaos and conflict at the polls on November 3.

(CNN)Millions of Americans have already cast their ballots ahead of Election Day, smashing mail-in and early voting records and raising election officials' hopes that the eye-popping early vote totals will ease the potential for problems, chaos and conflict at the polls on November 3.

States have set records for early voting totals, many approaching and in some cases even surpassing the total number of votes cast in the 2016 election.

The coronavirus pandemic led to a chaotic primary in several states during the spring, prompting many states to make major changes to their voting rules to encourage more ballots to be cast by mail or ahead of Election Day. Now the big question looming over the record-breaking early vote totals is what do they mean for Tuesday's polls: will turnout be significantly smaller than normal because so many voted ahead of time?

Gary Sims, director for elections in North Carolina's Wake County, which includes Raleigh, said early and mail-in voting has helped spread out voters, but he still is anticipating significant turnout on Tuesday.

In response, many states turned to expanding early voting, some allowing all voters to request an absentee ballot and others moving most of their election to vote by mail.

Early voting has wrapped up in most states, and state after state has set records for their vote count ahead of Election Day. Texas surpassed its 2016 vote total even before the weekend.

Despite the early voting totals, rising Covid-19 cases in nearly every state heading into Election Day is a worrisome trend for election officials.

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