Election Day is coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and people across the country are already heading to the polls. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are voting early this year, either by mail or in person. With different voting times for early and Election Day voting, you may be wondering what time the polls close on Nov. 3. It'll depend on where you live, and whether or not your vote early.
There are no official opening and closing times for Election Day and early voting across the country — instead, polling hours will vary by state. In some states, the polling times will depend on which city or county you live in, according to Ballotpedia. That means you'll want to check your polling location's hours before you head out to vote. For the 2020 election, it’s important to check the hours for in-person early voting and Election Day voting, because there are likely different weekday, weekend, and Election Day (Nov. 3) hours. In general, most states open their polls between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. local time and close between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time, but again, you should make sure you know your polling place’s exact hours for the day your plan to vote by checking your Secretary of State’s website or board of elections website.
It's important to note if you're in line before the polls close, you still have the right to vote, according to the ACLU. If someone tries to tell you that you can’t vote, call the Election Protection hotline at 1-866-687-8683 and ask for help for voting. If an issue arises, you can request to fill out a provisional ballot.
If you're voting by mail this year, make sure to either return your ballot by mail or drop it off at a voting location or secure dropbox by the deadline. You can find your state’s deadline for receiving ballots here. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) recommends you mail your ballot at least one week before your state’s deadline. However, some states are recommending even more time for mailing your ballot, so you’ll want to make sure you mail it back ASAP.
If you vote in person early or on Nov. 3, you'll want to follow the safety guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of June 22. The CDC recommends you wash or sanitize your hands before entering and upon leaving a polling place, wear a cloth face covering over your mouth and nose, and practice social distancing.
Your voice matters. So does your vote. Make sure both are heard and counted in the 2020 election by registering to vote right now.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.