Monday, September 17, 2012

Voting begins in early states

Mail voting via absentee ballots is already underway in North Carolina with Virginia set to offer these ballots on Friday.

Most states have early in-person voting periods or no-excuse absentee ballot voting periods.  Indeed, 24 states and the District of Columbia have both early voting and no-excuse absentee ballot voting periods.

Only 15 states provide no early voting period and only allow absentee voting when the voter has an excuse, for example, when they are living abroad. These states are:

  1. Alabama
  2. Connecticut
  3. Delaware
  4. Kentucky
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Michigan
  7. Minnesota
  8. Mississippi
  9. Missouri
  10. New Hampshire
  11. New York
  12. Pennsylvania
  13. Rhode Island
  14. South Carolina
  15. Virginia

For this week, while North Carolina allows no-excuse absentee voting, Virgina requires that voters have a valid excuse. 

The presidential campaign teams will encourage their supporters to vote as early as possible.  Once the ballot is cast it is like "money in the bank."  Other votes are still up for grabs and they are vulnerable to unfavorable developments including the well-known phenomenon of the "October surprise."

At the same time, the campaigns will wage last-ditch persuasion efforts to win early votes from independents.

For information on early voting and absentee voting in your state, visit

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