September 4, 2012
Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is welcomed after entering a campaign event at East Carolina University, Monday, Sept. 3, 2012, in Greenville, N.C.
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Early voting in the presidential race begins Thursday, and in the weeks to come millions of people in key states will cast ballots that could prove decisive on Election Day. They did in 2008, when President Barack Obama's margin of victory relied to a great degree on early votes cast in such crucial states as Florida, Colorado, North Carolina and Iowa.