The U.S. presidential election is officially underway, as early voting kicks off in Minnesota, even though voting in most areas is still weeks away. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). Story: Although the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election is more than two months away, the first ballots were cast on Friday (September 23) in some states that allow early voting. Voters in Virginia, Minnesota, South Dakota and Vermont were all able to cast ballots beginning on Friday. Voters in Iowa, Wyoming and Illinois will be able to join them beginning September 29. Of those, Virginia and Iowa are considered to be competitive, with their electoral votes up for grabs. Vermont and Minnesota are considered strongly Democratic states. Thirty-eight of the 50 U.S. states have some form of early voting in this year's race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. Pushing supporters to vote early has become a large organizational effort by both major U.S. parties.