Voters are smashing records for casting ballots ahead of Election Day on November 3 in order to avoid crowded polling centres and long lines out of fear of catching the coronavirus.

Voters wait in line to enter a polling place and cast their ballots on the first day of the state's in-person early voting for the general elections in Durham, North Carolina, US on October 15, 2020.
Voters wait in line to enter a polling place and cast their ballots on the first day of the state's in-person early voting for the general elections in Durham, North Carolina, US on October 15, 2020. (Reuters)

More than 50 million Americans have voted early in the White House race pitting President Donald Trump against Democrat Joe Biden.

The tally by the US Elections Project, run by the University of Florida, said on Friday that more than 35 million people have now voted by mail and more than 15 million in person by leaving their ballots in designated drop boxes.

Voters are smashing records for casting ballots ahead of Election Day on November 3 in order to avoid crowded polling centres and long lines out of fear of catching the coronavirus.

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Tally surpasses 2016 early votes

The tally already surpasses all 47 million votes cast early in the 2016 election, and there is still more than a week to go.

Early voting rules vary by state. One of the most populous, New York, gets started only on Saturday, so that will increase the tally even more.

Democrats are urging people to vote early as a precaution, and in some cases long lines have formed at places where voters can drop off their ballots.

Without providing evidence, Trump, who is trailing Biden in national polls and in key battleground states, has insisted that mail-in voting is prone to fraud.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies