Absentee and mail-in ballots have recently come under the spotlight, with some states struggling to count mail-in ballots during the primaries and President Donald Trump saying that mail-in ballots lead to voter fraud.
Election experts, however, say there's another voting method that's proven effective at tallying counts while reducing lines on Election Day: early in-person voting.
Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have rules that allow their constituents to lock in their vote days before Election Day -- even on weekends -- either at in-person polling stations or through in-person absentee submissions.
Wendy Underhill, the director of elections and redistricting for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which as part of its mandate provides information on early in-person options, told ABC News that the early-voting system has previously been instrumental in decreasing lines of voters on Election Day.
"I think any election official would be glad to see them come through earlier, especially during COVID," she told ABC News.
Underhill and other experts say they're concerned that some election officials aren't doing enough to promote early in-person voting or expand it to more locations. But they say there's still time for election officials and state leaders to let voters know the option is available.
A rise in popularity
Early in-person voting has been part of some states’ election laws as far back as 1921, when Louisiana and Texas established in-person absentee balloting, according to the NCSL.
Thirty-eight states have approved early in-person voting for at least some of their counties since the 1960s.
Thirteen states allow voters who opt for mail or absentee voting to (drop off) their ballots at their election office or designated (drop-off) sites.
Some districts count these votes as an absentee ballot in their tallies, according to experts.
Twenty-seven states open up polling sites in some or all of their districts in the weeks before the election and mark the ballots right there and then.