Can I Vote Early In The Presidential Election? It's Time To Get This Thing Over With
If you're ready to get this whole thing over with, then you may want to look into casting your ballot early for the presidential election. Plenty of states offer options for people who want to vote early in the presidential election, so it's worth checking to see if yours is one of them. By casting your ballot early, you can reap a few benefits — less time spent waiting in lines, no election day crowds, and metaphorically saying "¡adiós!" to Donald Trump a whole four weeks early.
Currently 37 states, as well as the District of Columbia, offer some form of early voting. With these states, no justification or excuse is required to cast the early vote, as is often the cast with mail-in absentee ballots. The rules for early voting differ from state to state, however. Some set up designated polling places similar to those used on election day, while others allow you to pick up a ballot, fill it out, and drop it off onsite. Colorado, Washington, and Oregon set up voting a bit differently, by mailing ballots to all eligible voters before the election.
Additionally, all states allow mail-in absentee voting, but 20 require an excuse as to why you're unable to make it to your designated polling place.
Early voting began September 23 in Idaho, Minnesota, South Dakota, Vermont, and runs all the way to November 3 in Oklahoma. As of October 13, 18 states are still offering early voting.
Early voting also has another benefit: statistically, it's shown to increase turnout among minority voters. According to a report from Salon, being able to cast your ballot early, also known as "convenience voting," tends to increase voter turnout for minority voters by 2 to 4 percent. In the 2012 election, for instance, 74 percent of black voters in North Carolina cast their ballots early. This is a significant jump that usually favors Democrats.
And in this year's election, early voting is expected to give a huge boost to Hillary Clinton, with some speculating that it will point to an early victory for the Democratic candidate. Early voting is up across the board, and in some states like Florida, there has been an increase as much as 50 percent of early voting ballot requests among Hispanic voters.
Thankfully for Clinton (and the rest of the American public, really), this Democratic push for early voting may finally be paying off at the best possible time.