Early voting in the 2020 general election shattered records, driven in part by strong enthusiasm for the presidential candidates and by pandemic-driven fears of crowded Election Day polling places. Much of the attention surrounding early voting focused on mail ballots, as many states increased their mail voting capacity to reduce the need for person-to-person contact that could further spread the coronavirus. In-person voting, however, also played a major role in the early vote, particularly among states and voters concerned that mail voting could be unreliable. This memorandum explores the various approaches that states took in providing early voting options to better understand early in-person voting trends.
Authors: Ashley Richards and Alissa Vuillier