Election 2020: When does early voting begin; which states do it?

The general election is on Nov. 3, but voting has begun in many states.

The popularity of early voting has grown, and now 39 states plus the District of Columbia offer voters the option of casting ballots in advance of the general election.

While voting is early, ballots are cast at a traditional polling place, or by using a paper ballot that is submitted to a person’s city or country election office.

According to a recent survey, more than half of those polled say they intend to vote early this year. While 33% said they will be voting by mail, 19% said they plan to vote early in person. Thirty-three percent say they will vote in person on Election Day, and the rest say they might not vote at all.

Early voting has been on the increase during the past few election cycles. With the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are making the choice not to stand in lines, sometimes for hours, next to a group of other people waiting to vote.

In the 2016 general election, the number of people who voted early was double the number of those who voted early in 2004 — 24.1 million to 10.2 million, respectively.

During the 2016 election, the combined average of voters in 16 states who voted other than at polling places accounted for more than 50% of the votes cast in those states.

In seven of those states — Arizona, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon and Texas — 60% of the votes cast in the 2016 election were cast through in-person early voting.

Below are dates and information on which states allow early voting:

Does your state allow early voting? Here are the states that do and the states that do not.

No early voting: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania

Here is a breakdown of early voting by date:

Early voting may vary by county, so check your state or county’s website.

When early voting starts

Sept. 18 - Minnesota, South Dakota and Wyoming

Sept. 19 - New Jersey and Virginia

Sept. 21 - Michigan and Vermont

Sept. 24 - Illinois

Oct. 4 - Maine

Oct. 5 - California, Iowa, Montana and Nebraska

Oct. 6 - Indiana and Ohio

Oct. 7 - Arizona

Oct. 12 - Georgia

Oct. 13 - Texas

Oct. 14 - Kansas and Tennessee

Oct. 15 - North Carolina

Oct. 16 - Washington

Oct. 17 - Massachusetts, Nevada and New Mexico

Oct. 19 - Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho and North Dakota

Oct. 20 - Louisiana, Utah and Wisconsin

Oct. 21 - West Virginia

Oct. 24 - Florida and New York

Oct. 26 - Maryland

Oct. 27 - District of Columbia

Oct. 29 - Oklahoma

When early voting ends

Oct. 27 - Louisiana

Oct. 29 - Maine and Tennessee

Oct. 30 - Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, Nevada, Texas and Utah

Oct. 31 - Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia and West Virginia

Nov. 1 - New York and Wisconsin

Nov. 2 - Alaska, Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming

Nov. 3 - Washington

Below are the dates for early voting by state.

StateEarly voting begins/ends
AlabamaNo true early voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
AlaskaEarly voting generally available Oct. 19-Nov. 2.
ArizonaCounties may offer early voting Oct. 7-30.
ArkansasEarly voting generally available Oct. 19-24, Oct. 26-31 and Nov. 2.
CaliforniaEarly voting generally available Oct. 5-Nov. 2. Counties consolidating polling places must offer early voting at those polling places for at least eight hours a day between Oct. 31-Nov. 2.
ColoradoVote centers must offer early voting Oct. 19-23, Oct. 26-31 and Nov. 2.
ConnecticutDoes not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
DelawareDoes not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
District of ColumbiaVote centers must offer early voting Oct. 27-Nov. 2.
FloridaCounties must offer early voting Oct. 24-31. Counties may also offer it Oct. 19-23 and Nov. 1.
GeorgiaCounties must offer early voting Oct. 12-16, Oct. 19-24 and Oct. 26-30.
HawaiiVote centers must offer early voting Oct. 20-24, Oct. 26-31 and Nov. 2.
IdahoCounties may offer early voting Oct. 19-30.
IllinoisJurisdictions may offer early voting Sept. 24-Nov. 2.
IndianaCounties must offer early voting Oct. 6-9, Oct. 13-16, Oct. 19-24, Oct. 26-31 and Nov. 2. Counties may also offer it Oct. 10-12, Oct. 17-18, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1.
IowaDoes not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
KansasCounties must offer in-person advance voting Oct. 27-30 and Nov. 2. Counties may also offer it Oct. 14-26 and Oct. 31.
KentuckyCounties must offer early voting Oct. 13-17, Oct. 19-24, Oct. 26-31 and Nov. 2.
LouisianaParishes must offer early voting Oct. 20-24 and Oct. 26-27.
MaineDoes not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
MarylandCenters will offer early voting Oct. 26-Nov. 2.
MassachusettsMunicipalities must offer early voting Oct. 17-30.
MichiganDoes not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
MinnesotaDoes not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
MississippiDoes not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
MissouriDoes not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
MontanaDoes not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
NebraskaCounty election offices must offer early voting Oct. 5-9, Oct. 13-16, Oct. 19-23, Oct. 26-30 and Nov. 2. They may also offer it Oct. 10-12, Oct. 17-18, Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 31-Nov. 1.
NevadaCounties must offer early voting Oct. 17, Oct. 19-24 and Oct. 26-30. Counties may also offer it Oct. 18 and Oct. 25.
New HampshireDoes not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
New JerseyDoes not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
New MexicoEarly voting generally available Oct. 6-Nov. 2.
New YorkCounties must offer early voting Oct. 24-Nov. 1.
North CarolinaCounties must offer early voting Oct. 15-31.
North DakotaCounties may offer early voting Oct. 19-Nov. 2.
OhioDoes not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
OklahomaCounty election offices must offer early voting Oct. 29-31.
OregonCounties must offer early voting from the day ballots are issued to Nov. 2.
PennsylvaniaNo true early voting, but you can cast a “mail” ballot in person at your county election office.
Rhode IslandNo true early voting, but you can cast an absentee or emergency ballot in person at your local board of canvassers.
South CarolinaNo true early voting, but you can cast an absentee ballot in person.
South DakotaNo true early voting, but you can cast an absentee ballot in person.
TennesseeCounties must offer early voting Oct. 14-17, Oct. 19-24 and Oct. 26-29.
TexasEarly voting generally available Oct. 13-30
UtahVote centers must offer early voting Oct. 20-23 and Oct. 26-30. Vote centers may also offer it Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 31-Nov. 2;
VermontNo true early voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
VirginiaNo true early voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
WashingtonVote centers must offer early voting Oct. 16, Oct. 19-23, Oct. 26-30 and Nov. 2.
West VirginiaCounties must offer early voting Oct. 21-24 and Oct. 26-31.
WisconsinMunicipalities may offer in-person absentee voting Oct. 20-Nov. 1.
WyomingNo true early voting, but you can vote absentee in person.

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