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A state-by-state breakdown: Exactly how the nation is handling voting, early voting

Several states are opting for no early voting

Jay Danny Cooper urges residents to vote in the primary.
Jay Danny Cooper urges residents to vote in the primary. (Getty Images)

With the year that 2020 has been, the presidential election has kind of snuck up on us. Really -- did you realize, in some areas, early voting begins in the next week?

A lot of states are doing things differently this year, seeing as how we’re living through a global pandemic. Some areas have opted out of in-person voting altogether -- Connecticut, Mississippi and South Carolina, to name a few -- but many are still encouraging early voting.

In fact, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll, the 2020 election is the first in which 60% of voters plan to vote in advance of Election Day — the largest in history. For comparison, in the 2016 election, about 40% of ballots were cast early.

People are opting to vote early — where they’re able — due to factors including coronavirus fears and doubts about the reliability of voting by mail.

However, for many, mail-in ballots are their best bet, especially for those who are at high risk of complications with contracting COVID-19, or for those who are still trying to do their best to stay home, stay safe and stick to social distancing the best they can.

As more people are interested in voting by mail, only about 30% say they are “very confident” their mail-in vote will be counted accurately, according to the poll.

Regardless of anyone’s plan, there’s no doubt this is an important year. Below is a breakdown of how voting is being handled in each state across the U.S.

Scroll over the map below to see which states are opening early voting.


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