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A long line of voters wait to cast their ballots at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax, Virginia, for the November presidential election on Friday, the first day of early voting in the state. Photo: John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

In some parts of Virginia, people waited in line up to four hours to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting, according to the Washington Post.

The big picture: The COVID-19 pandemic seems to already have an impact on how people cast their votes this election season. As many as 80 million Americans are expected to vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, told Axios in August.

  • Many of the voters who spoke with the Post said they planned to vote for Joe Biden.
  • Because of the pandemic, more people could vote-by-mail. However, President Trump has consistently railed against vote-by-mail and made unsubstantiated accusations that mailed ballots will lead to rampant voter fraud.
  • "I don't want my vote to be thrown away," Adam Pierre told the Post, saying he feared Trump undermining the process and that it was better to vote in person.

Voters were able to cast their ballots beginning Friday in four states: Virginia, South Dakota, Wyoming and Minnesota.

Voters wait in line in Arlington, Virginia. Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
Voters wearing face masks wait in line for the Loudoun County. Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call.
Voters wait in line to cast their ballot at an early voting location in Fairfax, Virginia. Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images.
Voters wait in line at an early voting location in Fairfax, Virginia. Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., greets constituents before casting his ballot during early voting. Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

Go deeper

Georgia's early voting starts with heavy turnout

Voters wait in line to vote at the Buckhead Library in Atlanta on the first day of in-person early voting for the Georgia Senate runoff election. Photo: Jason Armond/Getty Images

Georgia's on an early path to a huge turnout in the two runoffs to decide control of the U.S. Senate, according to data from the Georgia Secretary of State's Office crunched by Axios.

By the numbers: Voters cast 482,000 ballots in roughly the first day and a half of early voting this week. That’s equivalent to one-third of the total in the last statewide general election runoff, held in 2018, and about one-fourth of the total ballots in the last Senate runoff, held in 2008.

27 mins ago - Podcasts

Podcast: After the Biden inaugural

Joe Biden was sworn in today as America's 46th president in an inauguration unlike any other in modern history.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into the speech, the atmosphere and what it all tells us about the incoming administration, with Axios political reporters Hans Nichols and Alexi McCammond.

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.