When Does Early Voting Start in the US?
Millions of votes in the 2016 presidential election will be cast before November 8. Here's a full list of voting dates in each state.
The number of Americans voting early has steadily increased for decades. In 2014, more than 31% of voters voted in-person or through the mail before election day. Nearly 32% of voters voted early in the 2012 presidential election. In the 1996 presidential election, only one in 10 voters cast their ballot before election day.
Not every state allows early voting. Some require an "excuse" to vote early. But according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, most of this year's swing states will let voters cast an early ballot without a reason. This likely favors Hillary Clinton, with polling showing her leading Donald Trump nationally and in battleground states where early voting is only a few weeks away.
Rules vary between states that let Americans vote early. Some states allow early voting only in-person, while others only allow early voting through mail; other states allow both methods.
Overall, 34 states will allow early voting this year, and in three states, early ballots are cast entirely by mail. The vast majority of Americans can vote weeks before election day. The earliest early voting will begin in South Dakota and Minnesota on Friday, September 23. But something to keep in mind: Most states cut off early voting at least a few days, if not a week, before Election Day.
Read on to find when and how you can vote early in your state.
States that do not allow excuse-free early voting:
Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia.
Voters in Colorado, Oregon and Washington cast their ballot by mail, negating a need for early voting.
States that allow early voting in-person or by mail:
Alaska — early voting begins Monday, October 24.
Arizona — Wednesday, October 12.
District of Columbia — Saturday, October 22.
Florida — Saturday, October 29.
Georgia — Monday, October 17.
Hawaii — Tuesday, October 25.
Illinois — Thursday, September 29.
Kansas — Wednesday, October 19.
Maryland — Thursday, October 27.
Nebraska — Sunday, October 9.
Nevada — Saturday, October 22.
New Mexico — Tuesday, October 11.
North Carolina — Thursday, October 27.
North Dakota — (in some counties) Monday, October 24.
Utah — Tuesday, October 25.
States that allow "in-person absentee" early voting:
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, these states do not have traditional early voting. But they do allow voters to apply for an absentee ballot in-person without an excuse — effectively allowing citizens to vote early in-person. This is known as "in-person absentee" voting.
All of these states, except Indiana and Massachusetts, also allow voters to vote early through the mail without an excuse:
Idaho — Monday, October 24.
Indiana — Wednesday, October 12.
Iowa — Thursday, September 29.
Maine — Sunday, October 9.
Minnesota — Friday, September 23.
Montana — Friday, October 14.
Ohio — Wednesday, October 12.
Oklahoma — Thursday, November 3.
South Dakota — Friday, September 23.
Vermont — Saturday, September 24.
Wisconsin — Monday, September 26.
Wyoming — Thursday, September 29.
States that only allow early voting in-person:
Louisiana — early voting begins Tuesday, October 25.
Texas — Monday, October 24.
Tennessee — Wednesday, October 19.
West Virginia — Wednesday, October 26.
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