Q: Do I have any other options? Help!
A: Maybe – depending on your state. Now that we are 4 weeks away from the election, states with early voting may be starting soon or have already opened their polls!
We came across a WONDERFUL chart on early voting from the bipartisan group, National Conference of State Legislatures (link below). 42 states (plus Washington D.C.) have some type of early voting, though not all in person. Here are some general takeaways:
1. STARTING SOON: On average, early voting begins 22 DAYS before the election! Some states have already started, and others don’t open until much closer to November 3rd, but either way, it’s the right time to look up your state’s policy on early in-person voting.
2. WEEKEND VOTING: 24 states and Washington D.C. have a process for voting the weekend before Election Day—either on Saturday, Sunday, or both. This is great news if you’re hoping to vote in person but worried about long lines and missing work, school, or caregiving responsibilities on a Tuesday.
3. EARLY VOTING vs IN-PERSON ABSENTEE: Early voting is what you might be picturing – traveling to a polling location to use a poll machine to cast your ballot. In-person absentee voting means you can visit your county elections office, request an absentee ballot, and fill it out and submit it all on the spot – effectively casting an early vote, with no need to use the mail.
**Be sure to look up the process and deadlines for your state, because they can sometimes change unexpectedly. Vote.org also has a database of early voting policies, as well as updates to state voting policies because of COVID-19. We Nerdy Girls love a helpful chart more than most, but please remember to check with your local resources to make sure everything is running as planned.
These days, it’s less like “Election Day” and more like “Election Season,” in part due to the fantastic ability to vote early in many states. We hope you take advantage of this opportunity if you live in a state or county that supports it! If not, and you’re waiting until in-person polling on Election Day, feel free to share your voting safety questions with us in our Question Box on our website.
Stay safe, stay sane,
Those Nerdy Girls
Photo Credit: Early voting chart from National Conference of State Legislatures available at https://www.ncsl.org/…/early-voting-in-state-elections…\