Early voting begins in four states

U.S.

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA – SEPTEMBER 18: Voters cast ballots, spaced apart due to covid-19 at the Fairfax Government Center on September 18, 2020 in Fairfax, Virginia. Voters waited up to four hours to early vote in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, polls opened at 8am, and people where in line at 5:45am according to poll workers. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

(NewsNation Now) — President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden were both in Minnesota on the first day of early voting in the state, a reminder that voting in the election already has begun as voters opt to cast ballots early or by mail during the pandemic. 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.

In Minneapolis, some 44 people cast ballots in the first 30 minutes that the city’s lone polling center was open. Some said they were anxious to get an early jump on the process, or to avoid potential crowds on Election Day.

The pandemic 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.

All of the voters lined up in Minneapolis wore masks to help protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Reuters contributed to this report

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