Early voting is underway in Arizona, but what does that mean?

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

Most people no longer wait until Election Day to cast their ballots. 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 could 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 and guarantee your vote is counted is Oct. 31. Your mail-in ballot will explain to you how and where to mail back your ballot.

However, just because you use a mail-in ballot doesn't mean you have to mail it back. If you miss the Oct. 31 deadline to guarantee your mailed ballot will be counted, 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.

You can also drop it off at one of many early voting locations throughout the Valley.

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

The Maricopa County Recorder's Office will also be open from now through Nov. 2 during normal operation hours to answer questions.

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

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