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early voting midterm elections
In what is shaping up to be a highly monitored midterm election cycle this coming November, all but 14 states are offering the process of early voting, allowing voters between four to 50 days to cast a vote before Election Day. From there, the rules of early voting become more complicated. Therefore, NewsOne has compiled this guide that will help explain how the early voting process works state by state.

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Using information provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures, with the various restrictions and instructions included, we’ve simplified this list in alphabetical order, and it should be noted that the 14 states that do not have early voting will consider allowing an absentee ballot if a valid excuse is provided.

To explain, the term “in-person absentee voting” simply means that a person can cast a ballot before Election Day in person at an official location provided they can provide an excuse for why they will not be able to do so on the actual day. Some voting advocates do not count this process as part of the early voting process, but it maintains status nonetheless.

Note: all state information below comes by way of the NCSL.

Alabama: Excuse required for absentee voting
Alaska: Early voting and in-person absentee voting begin 15 days before an election and continues through Election Day. Certain elections can be held entirely by mail.
Arizona: Early voting begins 26 days before an election and ends the Friday before an election. Permanent absentee status is available and certain elections can be held entirely by mail.
Arkansas: Early voting begins 15 days before an election and ends 5 p.m. on the Monday before Election Day. Certain elections can be held entirely by mail.
California: Excuse required for absentee voting. Permanent absentee status is available and certain elections can be held entirely by mail.
Colorado: All-mail voting. Counties must have voter service and polling centers open for in-person early voting beginning 15 days before an election and through Election Day.
Connecticut: Excuse required for absentee voting
Delaware: Excuse required for absentee voting
District of Columbia: Early voting begins seven days before an election and ends the Saturday before Election Day. In-person absentee voting begins 15 days before an election and ends the day before Election Day. Permanent absentee status is available
Florida: Early voting begins 10 days before an election and ends three days before Election Day. For elections that include state and federal races, election supervisors may choose to offer early voting 15 days before an election. Certain elections can be held entirely by mail
Georgia: Early voting begins the fourth Monday before an election and ends the Friday before Election Day
Hawaii: Early voting begins 10 working days before the election and ends the Saturday before Election Day. Permanent absentee status is available and certain elections can be held entirely by mail
Idaho: In-person absentee voting begins on the third Monday before the election and ends 5pm the Friday before Election Day. Certain elections can be held entirely by mail
Illinois: Early Election begins on the third Monday before the election and ends on the third day before Election Day. In-person absentee voting is also available.
Indiana: In-person absentee voting begins 29 days before an election and ends noon the day before Election Day. An excuse is required for mail-in absentee voting
Iowa: In-person absentee voting is available as soon as ballots are ready, generally 40 days before a primary or general election.
Kansas: Early voting must begin by the Tuesday before the election, and end on noon the day before Election Day. Counties may begin early voting as early as 20 days before an election. Certain elections can be held entirely by mail
Kentucky: Excuse required for absentee voting
Louisiana: Early voting begins 14 days before the election and ends seven days before Election Day
Maine: In-person absentee voting is available as soon as ballots are ready (30-45 days before an election) and ends three business days before Election Day
Maryland: Early voting begins on the second Thursday before an election and ends the Thursday before Election Day. Certain elections can be held entirely by mail
Massachusetts: Excuse required for absentee voting
Michigan: Excuse required for absentee voting
Minnesota: In-person absentee voting is available as soon as ballots are ready (46 days before an election) until 5pm the day before Election Day. Certain elections can be held entirely by mail
Mississippi: Excuse required for absentee voting
Missouri: Certain elections can be held entirely by mail
Montana: In-person absentee voting begins 30 days before an election and ends the day before Election Day. Permanent absentee status is available and certain elections can be held entirely by mail
Nebraska: Early voting begins 30 days before each statewide primary and general election, and 15 days before all other elections and ends the day before Election Day.
Nevada: Early voting begins on the third Saturday before an election, and the Friday before Election Day. Certain elections can be held entirely by mail
New Hampshire: Excuse required for absentee voting
New Jersey: In-person absentee voting is available as soon as ballots are ready (45 days before an election) until 3pm the day before Election Day. Permanent absentee status is available and certain elections can be held entirely by mail
New Mexico: Early voting begins on the third Saturday before an election and ends the Saturday before Election Day. In-person absentee voting begins 28 days before an election and ends the Saturday before Election Day. Certain elections can be held entirely by mail
New York: Excuse required for absentee voting
North Carolina: Early voting begins on the second Saturday before an election, and ends 1pm on the Saturday before Election Day.
North Dakota: Early voting may begin 15 days before an election and ends the day before Election Day, at the discretion of the local official. Certain elections can be held entirely by mail
Ohio: In-person absentee voting begins 35 days before an election and ends at 2pm the Monday before Election Day.
Oklahoma: In-person absentee voting begins on the Thursday before an election and ends on the Saturday at 2pm before Election Day.
Oregon: All-mail voting. Counties must have at least two dropsites (libraries, city halls, etc. or outdoor mailboxes) beginning the Friday before an election. Counties may provide dropsites as soon as ballots become available (18 days before election).
Pennsylvania: Excuse required for absentee voting
Rhode Island: Excuse required for absentee voting
South Carolina: Excuse required for absentee voting
South Dakota: In-person absentee voting begins 45 days before an election and ends at 5pm the day before Election Day
Tennessee: Early voting begins 20 days before an election and ends seven days before a presidential preference primary or five days before all other elections
Texas: Early voting begins 17 days before an election and ends four days before Election Day
Utah: Early voting begins 14 days before an election and ends the Friday before Election Day. In-person absentee voting begins 29 days before an election and ends the Friday before Election Day. Permanent absentee status is available
Vermont: In-person absentee voting begins 45 days before an election and ends 5pm the day before Election Day
Virginia: Excuse required for absentee voting
Washington: All-mail voting. Counties must have at least one voting center open for in-person early voting beginning 18 days before an election through 8pm on Election Day.
West Virginia: Early begins 13 days before an election and ends 5pm or close of business on the third day before Election Day
Wisconsin: In-person absentee voting begins on the third Monday before the election and ends at 7pm the Friday before Election Day
Wyoming: In-person absentee voting begins 40 days before the election and ends the day before Election Day

By way of the NAACP’s This Is My Vote project, there are a series of pocket guides for all the respective states and the District of Columbia.

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