US Election Project, an independent vote monitor run by the University of Florida, has reported that early voting in the 2020 US election has surpassed all the pre-election ballots from 2016.

With 9 days still to go before the November 3 poll, US Election Project claimed that 59.3 million people had voted so far. Of the total, 39.9 million are postal ballots.

Many Americans wary of crowded polling booths during the coronavirus pandemic are lining up to cast ballots, whether by mail or in person.

US President Donald Trump has time and again been vocal against the postal ballots system in which -- he claims -- there's widespread fraud.

Trump has often said that people should test the system by sending in votes by post, and then going to vote in person on election day.

But US Election Project head Micheal McDonald countered, saying: "As coronavirus cases spike across the country, the Trump strategy of relying on in-person vote, especially Election Day, looks all the more risky. What if at least some of his voters decide not to vote? What if a polling place becomes unavailable or an election office shuts down?"

The US Election Project has predicted that turnout this year could top 150 million in total. Some 137 million ballots were cast in the 2016 election.

According to the vote monitor, some states key to the 2020 outcome were also firmly on the path to breaking records, such as Texas, where it claimed that that 80% of the early 2016 vote had already been cast by Sunday.