Early voting starts Thursday and there are three places in McDowell to cast your ballots.

The early voting for the 2016 general election starts Thursday at three places in McDowell County.

The one-stop, early voting period lasts through Saturday, Nov. 5. As in previous elections, the one-stop voting in McDowell will again be held in the County Commission’s boardroom at the County Administration Building on East Court Street in Marion, the Old Fort library at 65 E. Mitchell St. and the historic McDowell House located on U.S. 70 West, said county election officials.

The one-stop voting at the three locations will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. On Saturdays, it will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be three Saturdays during the early voting period (Oct. 22, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5).

Election official Marsha Harris said the deadline to ask for an absentee ballot is Nov. 1. The absentee ballot has to be returned to the Board of Elections office by 5 p.m. on Nov. 7 in person. If it is mailed in, the absentee ballot has to be postmarked by Nov. 7.

Unlike the primary, there will not be a requirement for voters to show their identification. On July 29, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit struck down the photo ID requirements and other elections procedures enacted under a state law.

However, the federal court did not change the part of the state law which had eliminated straight-ticket voting. This means voters will not have the option this time of checking a single box to vote either a straight ticket for either the Democrats or Republicans or any other party listed on the ballot. They will have to go down the ballot and decide on who they want for each office.

Election Day will be Tuesday, Nov. 8. All 17 precincts in the county will be open on that day.

For more information, call the McDowell County Board of Elections at 652-7121, ext. 342 or visit www.mcdowellboe.com.