Early voting is a good thing!!
If your state allows you to vote early, you should really consider taking advantage of it! Avoid the long lines on election day, and ensure that even if something comes up on election day, you still get your vote in! We can't vote early where I live - so go vote early so I can live vicariously through you! :)
Election Day has traditionally been held on a single day — a Tuesday. Congress scheduled federal elections on Tuesdays because they worked well for farmers and Sabbath observers. But in the 21st century, having one day to vote is an antiquated relic.
The answer, as many states have discovered, is to move away from a single day of voting and allow voters to cast ballots over a period of days or weeks.
EARLY VOTING INFO:
31 states allow early voting in some form.
States that permit "no excuse, in-person early voting" at election offices and, in some states, other satellite locations (as of 10/8/08):
Remember early voting is not the same as absentee voting...
Early voting differs from absentee voting in that voters may visit an election official’s office or, in some states, other satellite voting locations, and cast a vote in person without offering an excuse for not being able to vote on election day.
Early voting generally is conducted on the same voting equipment used in the regular election, as opposed to absentee voting, which is conducted on mail-in paper ballots. The time period for early voting varies from state to state, but most often it is available during a period of 10-14 days before the election, generally ending on the Friday or Saturday immediately preceding the election.
ABSENTEE VOTING INFO:
Other states permit no-excuse absentee voting. Go here to see a list.
Also, I know some people are suspicious of absentee ballots and whether they are counted or not. Go here (and scroll down) to read more about each states' procedure for counting absentee ballots.