Early voting opens in seven states, D.C.
October 20th, 2012
11:16 AM ET
10 years ago

Early voting opens in seven states, D.C.

(CNN) - Hours ahead of the presidential debate on Monday, millions of voters across the country will have the chance to cast their ballots when early voting opens in Arkansas, Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, Alaska and the District of Columbia.

Nevada began early voting on Saturday, a day after Washington state, bringing the early voting total to 29 states and the District of Columbia.

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- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

As of Monday, early voting will take place in six of the nine battleground states identified on CNN's Electoral Map - Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin. Only Virginia and New Hampshire don't allow voters to cast ballots early without an excuse, such as being out of town on Election Day. Early voting in Florida begins next weekend.

Approximately 35% to 40% of eligible voters are expected to cast their vote before Election Day, according to early voting experts. That's 5% to 10% more than those who voted early in 2008.

Since 2000, early voting has become more popular in states across the country. As a result, campaigns have shifted their voter turnout strategies to the earlier voting dates.

Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia offer some form of early voting – either in person at polling stations or by in-person absentee voting.

As of Saturday morning, more than 3.5 million Americans have cast their ballots, according to voting statistics cited by the United States Election Project at George Mason University.

Campaigns and politicos watch in-person absentee ballot requests and returns closely as well as early voting turnout numbers at the polls in an effort to identify trends in important battleground states.

CNN's Adam Levy and Robert Yoon contributed to this report

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

- Ryan zeroes in on energy jobs in Pennsylvania

- Poll: Races in Florida, Ohio remains tight after second debate

- Early voting opens in seven states, D.C.

- Sparring over economy in weekly addresses

Filed under: 2012 • Alaska • Arkansas • Colorado • Nevada • Texas • Washington • Washington D.C.
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Tish NC

    Voted Early NC! Felt sooo good! So many people,seniors,young people! Stood in line for a little over an hour, Well worth the wait

    Obama/Biden 2012! For the People!

    October 20, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. ourjungle

    Vote early, vote often,stop the military absentee ballots, allow non-citizens to vote,but don't tell then that voter fraud is a felony record that will keep them barred from the U.S., register college students,and give each student multiple ballots, but don' tell the students that voter fraud is a felony. If voter ID is outlawed, then there should not be any grounds to question any one that shows up in a Halloween mask to vote......early, often,from State to State.

    October 20, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. joe

    vote early . Way to go Trish. Forward

    October 20, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. Pete

    Republicans saying the presidents supressing the military vote,that's as funny as republicans not being racist in which they really are and they know it!!This early voting will kill Romney and his republican surrogates know it because he's being out done in Iowa,Wisconsin and others over 3x what republicans expected and they're fighting against each other figuring how to curb the democratic onslaught,it won't be easy if it can be done at all!!With an average of 6 points advantage in most early voting states and growing it'll be harder after the next debate,you'll see Pres.Obama in true form on foriegn policy,the only foriegn policy experience that Romney has is out sourcing, plain and simple,he's done!!

    October 20, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Norma Vessels

    I can't vote until election day here in Kentucky, but you can bet I'll be there with bells on .. rock solid for President Obama!

    October 20, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain: Hey, networks, fact-check the debates in real-time and put it in the crawl!

    We have vote by mail in my state. My ballot arrived yesterday and is in the mail today for the only sane choice:

    Obama/Biden and a straight Democratic ticket!

    October 20, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |

    Ivoted to move America FORWARD a week ago. Sensata shows that Mitt the twit is not qualified to be President.

    October 20, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain: Hey, networks, fact-check the debates in real-time and put it in the crawl!

    @ourjungle: Check out the Federal Voting Assistance Program (fvap dot gov) and then get back to us about how military and their families can't vote ....

    October 20, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. johnsonblued

    Mit dont understand, so is he saying just because we r not able to pay all of our household bils or buy food,
    we should just give up. we Know it dont work like that. you keep trying until you complete ur goals 4 yrs is not enough time to fix the mess the R messed up , Mit cant relate to not have enough to buy food or making a chioce of buying meds or food tTHIS IS A REAL ISSUE FOR MOST PEOPLE .

    October 20, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. The Prophet

    Romney will win CA worth 55 electoral votes, thence he will win the election. Any doubt?

    October 20, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. Gladys

    Vote. If you don't, then don't complain.

    October 20, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    I voted early for Obama/Biden.

    October 20, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Bill from GA

    The right is so much against 'Voter Fraud', yet there is no complaint against Absentee Ballots, where most (All) voter fraud occurs. The right, and the elderly, favor absentee ballots.

    In Georgia, I went online and applied for an absentee ballot, mailed in the form, and received the absentee ballot a few days later. No ID Required.

    I like the ease of the absentee ballot, but rules should be consistent. Why is it OK to vote without an ID in the method preferred by the right, but an ID is required to vote in person?

    Maybe the liberal groups should spread the word on the ease of voting Absentee.

    October 20, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    After I'm finished working at the business I didn't create, I will be placing my vote for Romney.

    October 20, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. ExRepublican

    My friends and family voted early for Obama they said it took them 2 hours to vote.
    They said it was so many people saying they are voteing for Obama because Romney seem like he wanted another war.
    VOTE for OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    October 20, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. Hillcrester

    My wife and I mailed our ballots in a week ago. Vote, everyone!

    October 20, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Willie Floyd

    Over 65 yrs. old we can vote early in SC-voted 10-10-12-GO OBAMA!!!!


    October 20, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. I Voted Early In NC

    @Tish NC, I voted yesterday and it did feel really good. My wait was 2 hours, the first day it was 4 hours. The first 2 days of votes cast in NC is a record per the NC Elections Board. Like you said it is a diverse group voting. Obama/Biden 2012 For Everyone.

    October 20, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. PNWjim

    Just my ballot minutes ago and will send off on Monday. GO OBAMA AND BIDEN FOR 4 MORE!
    [Those of you are worried about voter fraud should be watching Diebold and their machines which can be programed. The owners just happens to be huge Repub supporters] NO OHIO OF 2004 AND NO FLORIDA OF2000.

    October 20, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. Vanessa

    Obama/Biden forward people!! It's sad to see how close this race actually is.. A wow is in order.. I just don't understand why people would consider voting for Romney/Ryan ticket?? Ryan is not close enough prepared to step up if something were to happen to Romney. Please people wake! Gave Bush 8 years & yet we're not willing to give our president another term.. He's been working for us! Romney won't. Check the facts & please see what each candidate bring.. Romney will lead us back & our president will move us FORWARD! Si podemos! hispanics 4 Obama!

    October 20, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. cashmeremafia

    I'm voting by absentee ballot, still waiting for mine. Everyone go and VOTE!!

    October 20, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |