Early voting started for 2018 general election in Arizona on Wednesday, so what does that mean?

The early voting process has a few steps, but here's a simple explanation:

Most people no longer wait till ballot day to vote. Instead, they sign up online for a mail-in ballot and vote early, skipping the long lines at polling places on Election Day.

For the November general election, mail-in ballots were sent out to voters who had requested them on Oct. 10. But, voters can still request one until 5 p.m. on Oct. 26. Click here to request a Maricopa County mail-in ballot.

The FINAL day to mail back the mail-in ballots is October 31. Your mail-in ballot will explain to you how and where to mail back your ballot.

However, just because you request a mail-in ballot doesn't mean you have to mail it back. If you miss the deadline to send back your ballot, you can drop it off at a polling place on Election Day, as long as you drop it off by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Other than mail-in ballots, citizens can vote early in another way in Maricopa County. Maricopa County Elections offices will be open from now through Nov. 2 during normal operation hours.

The 15th floor of Phoenix City Hall will also be available for early voters.

Click here to find out where the closest early voting center is to you or where to vote on Election Day.

If you do not live in Maricopa County, search for your county's recorder's office website to find helpful information about early voting.