Have you voted yet? Even though Election Day 2010 is still nine days away, thousands of Americans have already cast their vote. How? Simple. By taking advantage of early voting, which is now available in 32 states and the District of Columbia.
While the early voting period varies from state to state, the most common intervals are 10, 14, or even 30 days prior to Election Day. But don’t wait too long… The early voting period typically ends the Friday or Saturday before Election Day.
As far as polling locations go, early voting locations are typically a subset of the usual polling places. In many areas, early voting is held at your local election office as well as select county and/or state offices. Around here, we do our early voting at the County Courthouse.
States that offer early voting
What follows is an alphabetical list of states that offer early voting:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
As noted above, early voting is also available in Washington, D.C.
Why vote early?
The biggest reason to vote early is to avoid Election Day crowds. While mid-term elections aren’t typically as busy as Presidential elections, you can still get caught in a big line if you go at the wrong time.
My own experience has been that there’s hardly ever anyone around when you go in for early voting. But even if there is a crowd, you can just leave and come back on another day.
When and where to vote
If you live in one of the states listed above, the quickest and easiest way to find your early voting dates and locations is to run a quick Google search for:
early voting <state name>
From there, it’s just a matter of showing up and making your voice heard.