Brace yourselves: Election Day has begun.
Some federal write-in absentee ballots, which are typically reserved for people serving dangerous foreign deployments or stints on submarines, have already started to come in. And that trickle of ballots will soon become a flood, with early voting set to begin in several states around the country.
The first round of early ballots will be dropped in the mail in North Carolina on Friday, kicking off a nearly nine-week sprint of early and absentee voting before the final results are tallied on Nov. 8.
Alabama elections officials will begin putting ballots in the mail on Sept. 15. By the following week, ballots from all 50 states will be on their way to members of the Armed Services and registered voters living abroad.
On September 23, voters in Minnesota will be the first with a chance to cast their ballots early, at in-person locations around the state. Polls open in South Dakota and Michigan the following day. By the end of September, voters in seven states will be able to cast ballots in person.