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Early voting has started in the 2020 presidential election

Early voting has started in the 2020 presidential election
Posted at 12:33 PM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 12:33:16-04

The polls are open in at least four states right now for in-person absentee voting, with more opening in the coming weeks.

In Virginia, people waited in line for hours to cast their ballots in the presidential election, more than a month before Election Day. Roughly one or two locations per jurisdiction opened Friday, with others planned to open in the coming weeks.

Voters told the Washington Post they wanted to turn in their absentee ballot in person this year, rather than mail it in, citing recent concerns about the postal service.

In Minnesota, both President Donald Trump and his challenger former Vice President Joe Biden are visiting the state Friday as it kicks off early voting. Polling locations opened around the state to waiting voters.

Voters in Wyoming and South Dakota are also able to complete absentee in-person voting beginning Friday.

Vermont voters can vote early in-person beginning Monday, and Michigan and Illinois voters can vote early on September 24

Several states are also getting ready to mail out ballots in the coming days.

Just because ballots are cast early, does not mean they are counted early. Many states have rules that election officials cannot open absentee, or mail-in, ballots until Election Day. With the anticipated increase in this kind of early voting, there is a chance the winner of the presidential race will not be known on Election Day, November 3.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Thursday, Sept. 24: Early voting begins, absentee ballots begin being mailed
Monday, Oct. 19: Online, postmarked-by voter registration deadline
Tuesday, Oct. 20 through 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3: In-person registration allowed with local clerk
Friday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.: Deadline to request absentee ballot by mail
Monday, Nov. 2: Absentee/mail-in postmarked-by deadline
Tuesday, Nov. 3: In-person voting