There's no question, farmers are engaged. The latest Farm Progress PANEL asked a simple question: Have you voted yet?
Turns out that many of those responding have voted early with about one-fifth sending in their vote by mail, and 27% voting early in person.
Just under half of those who responded will be trekking to town on election day to cast their ballot. And a small number – 6% - say they're not voting. Which is far lower than the general population in any given election year.
We also sent a second text to get some feedback on the election and while some may be reporting some disturbing issues, many pointed out they had voted and had no trouble. For example, Oregon has been voting by maile for 20 years "Works great. [There is a] ballot drop 3 miles from my place. Couldn't be easier," says one respondent.
In Colorado, which has long had vote by mail, another responded shared they were concerned about taking their ballot back to the ballot box. That fear is real, even if unfounded. One respondent said they won't be voting again adding "it's not worth the fear and the intimidation and with the electoral college my vote won't matter anyway." In Colorado, all electoral votes go to the presidential and vice presidential candidates that received the most votes.
Some expressed the notion that ballots should be in to be counted by Nov. 3, though Pennsylvania and some states can count later (per the U.S. Supreme court). Minnesota, which had implemented a COVID-19-related extension, was giving voters an extra week for ballots to arrive (they still needed to be postmarked by 11/3). One respondent to that was clear: "Seems Minnesota doesn't have their [you fill in] together. Ballots should have to be in by November 3; not delivered after. I believe there will be fraudulent ballots counted."
On the whole, most of the comments concerned early voting, noting how easy it was no matter where they lived. With more than 93 million voters now submitting ballots early, these respondents did find some wait times.
In this record-breaking voter turnout year, PANEL members are sharing they are engaged.
ADDING IT UP: When you look at the numbers 95% of respondents say they're voting, with nearly half heading to the polls Nov. 3
The Farm Progress PANEL is a text-based survey farmers can sign up to participate. We are limiting participation, but there are still a few seats left. Taking part starts by registering up for the Farm Progress NOW mobile text alert system so you get top news each day. To do that, text FARM to 20505 and then be sure to answer the response text to confirm. After that, you'll see instructions for joining the PANEL when the FARM text arrives.
The Farm Progress NOW text service provides topical daily information right to your phone, including top news including USDA reports and market insights. Note that the text service may incur added charges to your smartphone bill.