Hoping for a second term in office for the Republicans – President Donald Trump (left). Hoping to win the White House for the Democrats – Presidential candidate, former Vice-President Joe Biden (right). (Image courtesy CNN)

It’s Election Day, and Americans are casting their ballots for president, members of Congress and in state and local races.

More than 100 million ballots were cast before Election Day

From CNN's Adam Levy, Ethan Cohen, and Liz Stark 

More than 100 million Americans voted nationwide before the polls opened on Election Day, according to a survey of election officials by CNN, Edison Research, and Catalist. 

These votes represent more than 47% of registered voters nationwide. Twenty-one states and Washington, DC, have seen more than half of their registered voters cast ballots already. 

Pre-Election Day voting has skyrocketed nationwide during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. At least six states, including Texas, Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, Arizona and Montana have surpassed their total turnout from the 2016 general election in recent days.

In an additional seven states, the pre-election vote represents at least 90% of their 2016 total vote – North Carolina, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee.

Poll workers collect vote-by-mail ballots in a drive-thru system set up in the parking lot of the Leon County Supervisor of Elections Office Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. 110220 Ts 143finals

Nationwide, the 100.2 million ballots already cast represents 73% of the more than 136.5 million ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election. 

At least 37 states and Washington, DC have crossed their halfway marks for total 2016 ballots cast, including 14 of CNN’s 16 most competitively-ranked states - Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, Maine, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio

A little less than half of the votes already cast this cycle comes from those 16 key states, which will play a crucial role in determining who wins the presidency this year. 

Some voter information comes from Catalist, a company that provides data, analytics and other services to Democrats, academics and nonprofit issue-advocacy organizations and is giving insights into who is voting before November. 

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI – NOVEMBER 2: People wait in line to casts their absentee ballots in person at the Sterling Heights Election Center located in the Senior Center in Sterling Heights, Michigan on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

How the huge rise in pre-Election Day voting could affect when we get solid results

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

Early results that pop up shortly after the polls close might look very different from the final outcome, because of unprecedented levels of mail-in ballots and early voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, supporters of Democratic nominee Joe Biden have shown a strong preference for mail-in voting. Most of President Trump’s supporters say they want to vote on Election Day. States count these different types of votes in very different ways.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a Make America Great Again rally at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport November 2, 2020, in Avoca, Pennsylvania. – The US presidential campaign enters its final day Monday with a last-minute scramble for votes by Donald Trump and Joe Biden, drawing to a close an extraordinary race that has put a pandemic-stricken country on edge. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

As a result, in some of the most competitive states— including Florida and Texas — early results may look too rosy for former Vice President Joe Biden, before falling back down to earth and becoming more representative of the true outcome. In other states — particularly Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — Trump could see early leads that slowly narrow as more ballots are counted.

This won’t be a sign of fraud or irregularities. Rather, it’s just a reflection of how states count votes. Some states process early ballots first, and will report those early in the night, while others save them for last.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden walks with granddaughter Finnegan as he attends church on election day in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S. November 3, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque