Voters cast their ballots during early voting on October 14 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Voters cast their ballots during early voting on October 14 in Nashville, Tennessee. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

With 19 days until Election Day, more than 17 million ballots have already been cast in 44 states and the District of Columbia, according to survey of voting data from CNN, Edison Research and Catalist.  

Almost 10 million of those votes come from the 16 states that CNN rates the most competitive in the presidential election.  

Today is the first day of early voting in the critical state of North Carolina, but mail-in ballots started going out more than a month ago. 

Here’s a look at who’s voted so far in the Tar Heel State, according to voting information provided by Catalist, a company that provides data, analytics and other services to Democrats, academics and nonprofit issue-advocacy organizations and is giving new insights into who is voting before November.

Democrats currently hold a wide advantage over Republicans in ballots returned, despite making up nearly 36% of registered voters compared to Republicans’ 30%. Half of North Carolina’s ballots so far have come from Democrats, and only 18% have come from Republicans.  

This also marks a sharp difference compared to this point in 2016, when Republicans held a five-point lead over Democrats in their share of pre-election ballots cast.  

This data does not predict the outcome of any race, as polling around the country shows Democrats prefer to vote early or by mail, and Republicans prefer to vote in-person on Election Day. 

Early voters line up to cast their ballots at the South Regional Library polling location on October 15 in Durham, North Carolina.
Early voters line up to cast their ballots at the South Regional Library polling location on October 15 in Durham, North Carolina. Gerry Broome/AP

What we know: North Carolina’s voters so far are a more diverse group than they were at this point four years ago.  

White voters make up over three-quarters of those who have already voted, and Black voters make up about 17%. Hispanic and Asian voters comprise about 2% of early voters, respectively. Compared to 2016, White voters currently make up a smaller share of those who have voted so far, while Black voters make up a larger share. 

The breakdown by age is also different this cycle compared to four years ago. The oldest voters make up a smaller share of the early voting electorate, and the youngest voters make up a larger share. 

At this point in 2016, voters 65 or older made up 60% of those who had cast votes; now they make up only 49%. Meanwhile, voters 18-21 made up about a tenth of a percent of those who had already cast ballots in 2016, but now they make up about 3%. Voters 30-39, 40-49 and 50-64 also make up larger shares of the electorate so far, while the share of votes from those 22-29 has dropped slightly from four years ago. 

One piece of the early voting breakdown in North Carolina that hasn’t changed much from 2016? Gender.  

Women make up about 56% of those who have already cast ballots. At this time four years ago, that number was 57%. 

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