WASHINGTON — Election Day in the United States is still two months away. But though U.S. political campaigns at times seem endless, voters in some states can begin casting votes this month — even before the first general-election debate.
More than two-thirds of the country’s 50 states allow a voter to cast a ballot in person before the November 8 election. All of them offer a way to vote by mail if a voter cannot make it to the polls that day.
Most of the early voting states begin the process two or three weeks before the election, though some begin earlier. Minnesota and South Dakota are first, allowing voters to hand in their ballots as early as September 23, three days before the first scheduled debate between the Democratic candidate, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the Republican nominee, real estate mogul Donald Trump.
Two other candidates – Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein – are not polling high enough in national political surveys to be invited to the debate.