|Project Vote’s map of early and absentee voting, 2013.|
Last month, Project Vote released their latest policy paper, this one on Early Voting. Although voting has traditionally taken place on a single Election Day, in recent years many states have expanded opportunities to vote before Election Day–generally to accommodate voter schedules and in the hopes of increasing turnout.
Early voting allows voters to cast their ballots in person but at alternative times and locations, in addition to on Election Day at their traditional polling place. It is now in use in 30 states, as well as the District of Columbia. Some states also offer no-excuse absentee voting, allowing voters to fill out and mail or deliver a ballot before Election Day–without having to provide a reason for voting absentee.
In the 2012 election, early voting and absentee voting together accounted for 30% or more of all votes cast in 21 of the states. In Florida, about 50% of ballots were cast early.
Read the policy paper for more information.