In some states, there is an early voting option prior to Election Day, where registered voters may cast a ballot in a designated period prior to Election Day. Each state or jurisdiction have varying rules and times, please check the details in your state.
Absentee Voting (By Mail)
Absnetee ballots are available to voters in all states, with different restrictions depending on the state. The form that absentee voting takes varies—generally, absentee voting consists of a ballot mailed to your residence, allowing you to cast a vote prior to—or by—Election Day by mail. Many states allow you to vote absentee without an excuse or specific reason, while other states will require an excuse for you to vote absentee.
Some states, like California, offer permanent absentee voting, where you will recieve a ballot prior to every election. Most states require you to request an absentee ballot by a predetermined deadline before each election. States like Oregon and Washington vote entirely by mail, where every registered voter recieves a ballot by mail without requesting or applying for it.
Election Day Voting
The general election in 2016 is on November 8, 2016. You may vote in person on Election Day, but you may be required to vote in designated locations and within the hours the polling places are open. Some states require a valid photo ID before you cast your ballot, or else you will cast a provisional ballot. Check your state's voter ID requirements here. As Election Day draws closer, you may find your polling location here.