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September 19, 2020

US states open early voting

World

September 19, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS: Voters lined up in Minnesota to cast ballots on Friday ahead of campaign trips to the state by President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, as early voting began there and in three other states ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Some 44 people cast ballots in the first 30 minutes that the city of Minneapolis’ lone polling center was open, in a state Trump narrowly lost in 2016 but has targeted as a possible pickup this time. Voters in Virginia, South Dakota and Wyoming also began casting in-person ballots on Friday. In Virginia, elections officials in Fairfax and Arlington counties in the Washington suburbs reported heavy turnout, with lines out the door. Some voters in Minnesota said they were anxious to get an early jump on the process, or to avoid potential crowds on Election Day. The coronavirus pandemic has upended U.S. election traditions. It has sharply curtailed both candidates’ campaign travel and is expected to bring a surge of early and mail voting as Americans seek to reduce their exposure to crowds that can spread the disease. “I just wanted to come get it done,” said Jason Miller, 33, a painter who was in line before the site opened to cast a vote for Biden. He said he could not wait to cast a vote against Trump.

“I was a little inspired to come here the first day,” he said. “In fact, probably 3-1/2 years ago I thought I would be here the first day I could.”