This article will be updated regularly with new pictures.

Election Day is always the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, but the day circled on the calendar every four years is no longer the singular time when American elections happen.

That day, Nov. 3 this year, instead represents the end of a six-week sprint during which many Americans — a record number in 2020 — cast their ballots in advance.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a trend toward more early voting. In an effort to make polling places less crowded on Election Day, many states have encouraged absentee voting, opened more in-person early-voting sites and, in a few cases, mailed ballots to all registered voters.

In state after state, voters have waited in line for hours — particularly on the first day in-person early voting became available. When most of Georgia opened for in-person voting on Columbus Day, voters in the Atlanta suburbs waited four, five, even seven hours to vote. The next day in Texas, turnout in a few counties was equivalent to more than 10 percent of those counties’ entire vote in the 2016 election.

While the long lines are a vivid symbol of longstanding efforts to make voting more difficult — particularly for people of color — they also demonstrate the intensity of the desire to vote in an election that millions of Americans have waited for since the last one, when President Trump won a victory that shocked the country, exhilarating his supporters and infuriating large parts of the country.

This year, millions of Americans voted as soon as they could. They sent ballots back in the mail, deposited them into drop boxes, handed them off to municipal clerks or county elections boards, or went to early-voting centers where, at least in the first few days, voters reported festive atmospheres that were free of the angst that often comes with spending hours waiting to vote on Election Day.

It has been a public demonstration of civic devotion unseen in American life for generations, but also evidence of what in many places remains a broken voting system, damaged either by neglect or intent. Yet the voters keep coming, intent on exercising a constitutional right and in hopes of shaping a better future for their country.

People waited in line to vote at the Brainerd Youth and Family Development Center in Chattanooga.

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Credit…C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press, via Associated Press

Voters lined up inside a library in Nashville.

Credit…Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Election workers processed sample ballots during a logic and accuracy test for ballot scanners at the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office in Largo.

Credit…Eve Edelheit for The New York Times

A line formed outside a polling place before dawn on the first day of in-person early voting in Austin.

Credit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times
Credit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

A polling place was set up and mail ballot envelopes were gathered at the Hays County Government Center in San Marcos.

Credit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times
Credit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

A voter gave a thumbs-up to Rebecca Stark, a delivery clerk, at a drive-through ballot drop-off location at the Travis County Tax Office in Austin.

Credit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

State Farm Arena, the home court for the N.B.A.’s Atlanta Hawks, was transformed into a polling place.

Credit…Lynsey Weatherspoon for The New York Times

Social distancing markers were placed around the site, and stickers were set out for voters.

Credit…Lynsey Weatherspoon for The New York Times
Credit…Nicole Craine for The New York Times
Credit…Nicole Craine for The New York Times

Completed mail ballots were opened and organized at the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office in Largo.

Credit…Eve Edelheit for The New York Times
Credit…Eve Edelheit for The New York Times
Credit…Eve Edelheit for The New York Times

People arrived for the first day of in-person early voting in Mesa.

Credit…Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times
Credit…Go Nakamura/Getty Images

Brent West voted at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus.

Credit…Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

A line wrapped around the building on the first day of in-person early voting. Democratic canvassers handed out sample ballots to people near the site.

Credit…Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times
Credit…Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

John Moseley, right, helped voters cast their ballots.

Credit…Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

Residents waited to vote at the Wicker Park Social Center in Highland.

Credit…Scott Olson/Getty Images

People waited in line at the Lexington County Voter Registration and Elections Office on the second day of in-person absentee and early voting.

Credit…Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A group of friends dressed like suffragists gathered on the corner near a polling place at the Polk County Auditor’s Office in Des Moines.

Credit…Kathryn Gamble for The New York Times

Sample ballots were on display below portraits of former mayors at City Hall in Lewiston.

Credit…Sarah Rice for The New York Times

People arrived to vote in person or to return completed mail ballots in Lewiston.

Credit…Sarah Rice for The New York Times
Credit…Sarah Rice for The New York Times

A voter signed in to cast his ballot at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office.

Credit…Sandy Huffaker/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Paperwork and protective gloves were set out for voters at the San Diego polling place.

Credit…Sandy Huffaker/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Poll workers collected absentee ballots and voter registration forms at Tenney Park in Madison.

Credit…Lauren Justice for The New York Times

Maxine Johnson cast her ballot at the Loop Super Site, an early voting hub in Chicago.

Credit…Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times, via Associated Press

Brett Everage completed his ballot outside Philadelphia City Hall on the second day of early voting in the city.

Credit…Kriston Jae Bethel for The New York Times

Melissa Thompson and Kyle Thompson filled envelopes with ballots to be sent to voters in West Bloomfield Township.

Credit…Sylvia Jarrus for The New York Times

A woman turned in her mail ballot at a drop box in Detroit. Ballots were sorted before being sent to voters in West Bloomfield Township.

Credit…Sylvia Jarrus for The New York Times
Credit…Sylvia Jarrus for The New York Times

A man returned his absentee ballot in Warren.

Credit…Brittany Greeson for The New York Times

An election worker processed mail ballot applications in Olathe.

Credit…Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

People waited in line to vote at the Fairfax Government Center.

Credit…Kenny Holston for The New York Times
Credit…Kenny Holston for The New York Times

Workers prepared absentee ballots for mailing at the Wake County Board of Elections in Raleigh.

Credit…Gerry Broome/Associated Press

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