We are now six days out from the votes being counted in the US presidential election, and it seems there will be no shortage of them.
According to the latest data from the US Elections Project, at least 75 million people have already voted, either in person or by mail. That is well over half of the total turnout from 2016, when a tick under 130 million Americans cast ballots.
The man behind the Elections Project, University of Florida Professor Michael McDonald, has predicted this year's final tally could reach 150 million.
If that happens, it will be the highest turnout for a presidential election since 1908, more than a century ago, when about 63 per cent of the voting-eligible population took part.
Reuters reports the Democrats hold a "roughly two-to-one" advantage over the Republicans among those who have already cast or sent in ballots, based on voter registration numbers. That advantage has narrowed, however, in the past couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, public opinion polling shows the people voting on election day will favour Donald Trump over Joe Biden by a similarly wide margin.
Post-ABC polls of the swing states Michigan and Wisconsin show that among respondents who said they planned to vote on election day, Trump led with 65 per cent support in Michigan and 70 per cent in Wisconsin.
Among those who had already voted, or said they planned to vote before election day, Biden was leading with more than 70 per cent in both states.
In total, Biden led 51-44 in Michigan and 57-40 in Wisconsin.
Whether the early vote is going to favour Biden or the election day vote is going to favour Trump matters because each state sets its own rules. Some allow officials to start counting early votes before election night, while others prohibit them from doing so until the polls close.
This means the order in which the votes are reported will vary from state to state, creating something US media refer to as a "mirage" early on election night.
Swing states Florida and North Carolina allow the early votes to be counted ahead of time so when they start reporting their vote tallies on the night of November 3, a disproportionate amount of the initial total will be early, Biden-leaning votes.
This is the "blue mirage". You might think Biden is running away with Florida and North Carolina early on, only for the election day vote to trickle in and bring Trump back into contention.
Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania do not count early votes ahead of time.
Because mail ballots take longer to count than in-person votes, early results from these states will make Trump's support appear stronger than it really is.
This is the "red mirage". Over the following hours or even days, depending how quickly the count unfolds, Biden can be expected to claw his way back.
The President seems to know this will happen, because he has spent recent days suggesting the courts should stop the states from continuing to count after election night.
"It would be very, very proper and nice if a winner were declared on November 3, instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate, and I don't believe that that's by our laws. I don't believe that," Trump said yesterday.
"Hopefully the few states remaining that want to take a lot of time after November 3 to count ballots, that won't be allowed by the various courts. Because you know, we're in courts on that. We just had a big victory, yesterday, in Wisconsin on that matter. So hopefully that won't be happening," he said today.
The case he mentioned, concerning Wisconsin, involved an attempt to extend the deadline for accepting mail-in ballots in the state.
Under the extension, ballots would still have been counted if they arrived by November 9, as long as they were postmarked by November 3.
There would be nothing remotely unusual about the vote count continuing for a couple of weeks after the polls close. That always happens, to ensure that all valid votes are counted and that the final results are accurately reported.
The states have until December 8 to report their final tallies.