The 2020 Presidential Election is the 59th quadrennial presidential election. The contest is between former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democratic Party and President Donald Trump of the Republican Party. Election Day is on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, where United States citizens will select presidential electors who will,, in turn vote on December 14, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, states are making it easier and safer for citizens to vote by expanding absentee (mail-in) and early voting.
Absentee voting, or vote-by-mail, is different from early voting as it allows you to vote by mail. Every state has absentee voting but, rules for who can vote absentee vary.
All-mail voting means that a ballot is automatically mailed to every eligible voter without requiring a request or application. In these states, polling places may also be open and available for those wanting to vote in-person. Five states have all-mail voting:
Other states also allow vote-by-mail for certain elections and for people who have a qualifying excuse. Again, your state’s rules may change because of the coronavirus pandemic, so be sure to check your state’s election website. Check under “absentee voting” if you don’t see information under “voting in person” or “early voting.”
Some people are not able to vote on Election Day for several reasons. However, some states may let you vote during a designated early voting period. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, your state’s rules regarding voting may change between now and election day, so check with your state’s election website.
Most states have early voting, which allows registered voters to vote on specified dates before Election Day. The date on which early voting begins may be as early as 45 days before the election or as late as the Friday before the election. Early voting periods range from four days to 45 days, with the average being 19 days. Of the states that allow in-person early voting, 24 states and the District of Columbia allow some early voting on weekends.
The National Conference of State Legislatures has published a page of each state’s period for early voting. You do not need an excuse to vote early.
Forty-two states and the District of Columbia allow early voting. Delaware has enacted early voting but will not be in place until 2022. Seven states do not offer in-person early voting options. These states are: