Presidential elections in the United States take place on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November. The first presidential election in the United States took place on Jan. 7, 1789. On April 30, 1789, George Washington was sworn into office as the first president of the United States.
In 33 of the 50 states, the law allows for voters to cast early ballots or absentee ballots during a specific time period prior to election day. However, 20 of these states require that absentee or early voters provide an excuse as to why they are unable to vote in person on the official Election Day. In Washington, Oregon and Colorado, ballots are mailed to voters, because these states do not offer polling sites.