CARTERSVILLE, GA — All but six states in the U.S., plus Washington, D.C., offer early voting, either in person or by mail. By Saturday, all but three of those states will have opened their polling places to the public.
Saturday is national Vote Early Day, a movement created by a coalition of nonprofits, businesses, election administrators and others to ensure every American has the chance to vote on or before Election Day.
Early voting, both in person and by mail, gives voters the chance to cast a ballot while avoiding crowded polling places and risking contracting the COVID-19 virus, according to the national Vote Early Day campaign.
Early voting in Georgia started on Monday, Oct. 12 and ends on Friday, Oct. 30.
When polls are open varies by municipality and polling place. You can find the hours for polling places in Cartersville here.
Some states allow residents to cast mail-in ballots, which can be returned by mail, in a ballot drop box or to a voting place or election office. Here's where to find drop boxes in Cartersville. Absentee ballot drop boxes close at 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Rules and regulations around voting vary by state. Here’s what voters in Georgia should know before heading to the polls.
A Pew Research Center study found that more than half of voters in the 2020 presidential primary elections voted by mail in the 37 states studied, roughly double the number of voters who opted to use mail-in ballots in the 2018 and 2016 general elections.
The rise in mail-in voting parallels an overall increase in voter turnout in 2020. Thirteen days before the general election, voters had already vastly exceeded previous years’ turnout rates with more than 40 million Americans having already cast a ballot.
This increase could be attributed in part to a handful of states that opted to automatically mail ballots to every registered voter and another dozen states that mailed absentee ballot applications to everyone registered.
In 19 states studied by the U.S. Elections Project, significantly more registered Democrats had voted than registered Republicans. As of Oct. 21, 52 percent of early voters who have cast a ballot so far are registered Democrats while 26.1 percent are registered Republicans.
Another 22 percent of voters had either no party affiliation or were registered with a minor party.