From all reports, early voting is off the charts this election season. Florida's Republican governor declared an emergency, ordering polling places to stay open later to contend with the hours-long wait at some voting places. Finally, this year, Americans will turn out in record numbers -- in numbers we've never seen before. This is wonderful, amazing, thrilling.
But the sad fact is that many polling places may not be ready for the onslaught -- especially in critical swing states. As a result, anyone who can vote prior to Nov. 4 -- either by registering for absentee ballots or by early voting -- I strongly recommend that you do so. Declare Yourself has a great interactive map about early voting -- find out the rules in your state. You could be living in one of the 31 states allowing folks to beat the rush this week. But, remember that early voting and absentee voting are different things:
No-Excuse Early Voting: Thirty-one states allow voters to cast their ballots early even if they are able to make it to the polls on Election Day. Some elections offices use touch-screen voting machines and others allow voters to submit an in-person absentee ballot (see below).Celebrities have been out in full force this election season -- and the latest Declare Yourself video is chock full of 'em urging all of us to vote. And I'm telling you -- don't take this one for granted. It ain't over yet, no fat lady has sung -- and it might just be the early voting that gives our man Barack the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The time is now, my friends. Don't miss your chance to be part of history -- and make a change for the better.
In-Person Absentee: A form of early voting in which voters go to their county elections office, apply for an absentee ballot, fill it out, and submit it to their election official in person.
Excuse Required: If you can’t make it to the polls on Election Day, four U.S. states and the District of Columbia require a valid excuse to vote early and absentee in-person. Requirements vary by state, but can include military service, college attendance, and sickness.
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