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

Everything You Need to Know Before You Vote

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.

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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. 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. 29 - Oklahoma

When early voting ends

Oct. 27 - Louisiana

Oct. 29 - Maine and Tennessee

Nov. 1 - New York and Wisconsin

Nov. 3 - Washington

Below are the dates for early voting by state.

State Early voting begins/ends
Alabama No true early voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
Alaska Early voting generally available Oct. 19-Nov. 2.
Arizona Counties may offer early voting Oct. 7-30.
Arkansas Early voting generally available Oct. 19-24, Oct. 26-31 and Nov. 2.
California Early 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.
Colorado Vote centers must offer early voting Oct. 19-23, Oct. 26-31 and Nov. 2.
Connecticut Does not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
Delaware Does not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
District of Columbia Vote centers must offer early voting Oct. 27-Nov. 2.
Florida Counties must offer early voting Oct. 24-31. Counties may also offer it Oct. 19-23 and Nov. 1.
Georgia Counties must offer early voting Oct. 12-16, Oct. 19-24 and Oct. 26-30.
Hawaii Vote centers must offer early voting Oct. 20-24, Oct. 26-31 and Nov. 2.
Idaho Counties may offer early voting Oct. 19-30.
Illinois Jurisdictions may offer early voting Sept. 24-Nov. 2.
Indiana Counties 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.
Iowa Does not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
Kansas Counties must offer in-person advance voting Oct. 27-30 and Nov. 2. Counties may also offer it Oct. 14-26 and Oct. 31.
Kentucky Counties must offer early voting Oct. 13-17, Oct. 19-24, Oct. 26-31 and Nov. 2.
Louisiana Parishes must offer early voting Oct. 20-24 and Oct. 26-27.
Maine Does not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
Maryland Centers will offer early voting Oct. 26-Nov. 2.
Massachusetts Municipalities must offer early voting Oct. 17-30.
Michigan Does not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
Minnesota Does not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
Mississippi Does not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
Missouri Does not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
Montana Does not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
Nebraska County 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.
Nevada Counties must offer early voting Oct. 17, Oct. 19-24 and Oct. 26-30. Counties may also offer it Oct. 18 and Oct. 25.
New Hampshire Does not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
New Jersey Does not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
New Mexico Early voting generally available Oct. 6-Nov. 2.
New York Counties must offer early voting Oct. 24-Nov. 1.
North Carolina Counties must offer early voting Oct. 15-31.
North Dakota Counties may offer early voting Oct. 19-Nov. 2.
Ohio Does not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
Oklahoma County election offices must offer early voting Oct. 29-31.
Oregon Counties must offer early voting from the day ballots are issued to Nov. 2.
Pennsylvania No true early voting, but you can cast a “mail” ballot in person at your county election office.
Rhode Island No true early voting, but you can cast an absentee or emergency ballot in person at your local board of canvassers.
South Carolina No true early voting, but you can cast an absentee ballot in person.
South Dakota No true early voting, but you can cast an absentee ballot in person.
Tennessee Counties must offer early voting Oct. 14-17, Oct. 19-24 and Oct. 26-29.
Texas Early voting generally available Oct. 13-30
Utah Vote 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;
Vermont No true early voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
Virginia No true early voting, but you can vote absentee in person.
Washington Vote centers must offer early voting Oct. 16, Oct. 19-23, Oct. 26-30 and Nov. 2.
West Virginia Counties must offer early voting Oct. 21-24 and Oct. 26-31.
Wisconsin Municipalities may offer in-person absentee voting Oct. 20-Nov. 1.
Wyoming No true early voting, but you can vote absentee in person.