Photography

Photos: The scene as record numbers of early voters wait in long lines and cast ballots by mail for the upcoming election

Early voting kicked off in September as voters showed up in person, some facing long lines, to cast their ballots, driven by a sense of urgency about the divisive presidential election, growing unease over the timely delivery of mail ballots and fear of exposure to the novel coronavirus at the polls on Election Day. Many Americans took advantage of the opportunity to make their selections before Nov. 3, voting by mail or casting a ballot in person.

Sept. 18, 2020 | Minneapolis, Minn.

Election judge Nick Stumo-Langer moves a "Vote Here" sign to a vehicle outside the Minneapolis Elections and Voter Services building on Sept. 18, the first day of early voting in Minnesota.

Joshua Lott for The Washington Post

Joshua Lott for The Washington Post

Sept. 18, 2020 | Minneapolis, Minn.

A voter, left, receives instructions before receiving a ballot from a clerk at the Minneapolis Elections and Voter Services building.

Joshua Lott for The Washington Post

Joshua Lott for The Washington Post

Sept. 18, 2020 | Fairfax, Va.

A long line of voters wait to cast their ballots for the November election at the Fairfax County Government Center on the first day of early voting.

John McDonnell/The Washington Post

John McDonnell/The Washington Post

Sept. 22, 2020 | San Marcos, Tex.

From left: Catherine Wicker, Kalin Garcia and Jessica Myers, Texas State University students and organizers with the Campus Vote Project, review a photo they took after a National Voter Registration Day event on campus in San Marcos.

Tamir Kalifa for The Washington Post

Tamir Kalifa for The Washington Post

Sept. 22, 2020 | San Marcos, Tex.

Lily Tomlin, an American Staffordshire Terrier belonging to a volunteer deputy registrar, relaxes as students register to vote during a National Voter Registration Day event on campus in San Marcos.

Tamir Kalifa for The Washington Post

Tamir Kalifa for The Washington Post

Oct. 2, 2020 | Bozeman, Mont.

A voter drops off a ballot at the Gallatin County courthouse.

Louise Johns for The Washington Post

Louise Johns for The Washington Post

Oct. 2, 2020 | Livingston, Mont.

Election workers prepare mail-in ballots at the Park County courthouse.

Louise Johns for The Washington Post

Louise Johns for The Washington Post

Sept. 24, 2020 | Detroit, Mich.

Lauren Kane, 28, and her fiance, Sam Hamburger, 30, fill out paperwork in line outside of the Detroit City Clerk's Office on the first day of early voting.

Nick Hagen for The Washington Post

Nick Hagen for The Washington Post

Oct. 5, 2020 | Columbia, S.C.

Thurmond Guess bumps elbows with another voter outside of the Richland County Voter Registration and Elections Office on the first day of in-person absentee voting.

Sean Rayford for The Washington Post

Sean Rayford for The Washington Post

Oct. 26, 2020 | Silver Spring, Md.

Keisha Kirkland of Rockville pumps her fist after voting on the first day of in-person early voting in Maryland at the Silver Spring Civic Building with her sons, from left, Romeo, 9, Adwa, 2, and Ezra, 3.

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

Oct. 15, 2020 | Charlotte, N.C.

Poll workers who check voters in before they cast a ballot change shifts during a lull inside the Spectrum Center on the first day of early voting.

Logan Cyrus for The Washington Post

Logan Cyrus for The Washington Post

Oct. 5, 2020 | Columbia, S.C.

Voters cast ballots at the Richland County Voter Registration and Elections Office on the first day of in-person absentee voting.

Sean Rayford for The Washington Post

Sean Rayford for The Washington Post

Oct. 24, 2020 | Los Angeles, Calif.

Kelly Lenzen casts her vote with daughter Cameron by her side at First Treat Baptist Church in Compton.

Allison Zaucha for The Washington Post

Allison Zaucha for The Washington Post

Nov. 1, 2020 | Milwaukee, Wis.

Voters fill out their ballot at the Midtown Center polling station during the last day of early voting.

Joshua Lott/The Washington Post

Joshua Lott/The Washington Post

Oct. 21, 2020 | Las Vegas, Nev.

Voters participate in early voting at the Meadows Mall Clark County polling station.

Melina Mara/The Washington Post

Melina Mara/The Washington Post

Oct. 5, 2020 | Windham, Maine

Absentee ballots ready to be mailed to voters are handed off to a postal worker outside town hall.

Elizabeth Frantz for The Washington Post

Elizabeth Frantz for The Washington Post

Nov. 1, 2020 | Milwaukee, Wis.

A woman votes at the Midtown Center polling station during the last day of early voting.

Joshua Lott/The Washington Post

Joshua Lott/The Washington Post

Oct. 19, 2020 | Traverse City, Mich.

Susan Sommerville drops off her absentee ballot inside of an absentee ballot drop box placed in front of the Grand Traverse Governmental Center.

Salwan Georges/The Washington Post

Salwan Georges/The Washington Post

Oct. 15, 2020 | Durham, N.C.

A volunteer assists voters as they fill out their ballots in the curbside voting line at the Durham County Library.

Cornell Watson for The Washington Post

Cornell Watson for The Washington Post

Oct. 26, 2020 | Bowie, Md.

Hundreds of people line up before dawn to participate in early voting.

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Oct. 31, 2020 | Wash., D.C.

Volunteer Aparna Raj, 26, right, helps first-time voter Binta Nyan, 18, sign in at the Raymond Recreation Center and Playground.

Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post

Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post

Nov. 2, 2020 | Troy, Mich.

People wait in line to cast their absentee ballots in person at the clerk's office.

Salwan Georges/The Washington Post

Salwan Georges/The Washington Post

Oct. 15, 2020 | Charlotte, N.C.

Potential voters stand in line outside of Beatties Ford Library on the first day of early voting.

Logan Cyrus for The Washington Post

Logan Cyrus for The Washington Post

Oct. 29, 2020 | Frederick, Md.

Voters wait in line during a rain storm at Governor Thomas Johnson High School.

Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post

Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post

Oct. 30, 2020 | Doral, Fla.

Voters cast their early ballots at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department.

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Oct. 19, 2020 | St. Petersburg, Fla.

Campaign volunteers wave signs at passing cars outside of the Supervisor of Elections Office on the first day of early voting for Pinellas County.

Zack Wittman for The Washington Post

Zack Wittman for The Washington Post

Nov. 1, 2020 | Miami, Fla.

Parishioners from Shalom Community Church march to cast their early votes.

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post