This year, Election Day will start well before November 4th. For many years, early voting has been on the rise.
States currently offer three ways for voters to cast a ballot before Election Day:
- In person: In 33 states and the District of Columbia, any qualified voter may cast a ballot in person during a designated period prior to Election Day. No excuse or justification is required.
- By mail: All states will mail an absentee ballot to certain voters who request one. The voter may return the ballot by mail or in person. In 20 states, an excuse is required, while 27 states and the District of Columbia permit any qualified voter to vote absentee without offering an excuse. Some states offer a permanent absentee ballot list: once a voter asks to be added to the list, s/he will automatically receive an absentee ballot for all future elections.
- Exclusive mail voting: A ballot is automatically mailed to every eligible voter (no request or application is necessary), and the state does not use traditional precinct poll sites that offer in-person voting on Election Day. Washington, Oregon, and Colorado use mail voting.
As of September 30, 39,929 ballots have been cast (in reporting jurisdictions).
In Minnesota, in the first week of early voting with an absentee ballot, the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State reported an increase in accepted ballots compared to previous years. Of the 37,710 absentee ballots distributed to voters for the November 4 election, 3,531 ballots have been accepted by election officials. This number is up compared to 2,308 ballots accepted at this time in 2012, and 2,423 in 2010.
Browse and sort this early voting information calendar with details for all 50 states.