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People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 58.6 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 9 days left until Election Day, according to an AP tally.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Between the lines, via Axios' Stef Kight: Early voting data signals strong Democratic enthusiasm in key battleground states. But strategists for both parties say Republicans could still overtake that advantage with a surge of in-person turnout on November 3.

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct a Washington Post error that had the U.S. surpassing its 2016 early-voting tally three days early.

Go deeper

Dec 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

McConnell urges Republicans not to contest Biden win on Jan. 6

Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his leadership team urged fellow Republicans on a conference call today not to participate in any efforts to object to certifying Joe Biden's presidential election win in the Jan. 6 joint session, two sources on the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is about politics as much as about doing the right thing. McConnell expressed concern about such a vote, because the GOP would have to vote it down — something that could damage incumbents up for re-election in 2022.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.

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