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Obama tells voters "it's going to be close" in new ad urging Americans to vote early

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How mail-in ballots are verified and secured 07:23

Election Day is just 19 days away, and former President Barack Obama is urging voters to cast their ballots, and early. In a new ad for the DNC, Mr. Obama tells Americans the 2020 election isn't a few weeks away, "it's already here."

"Millions of Americans are already voting. Make sure you stand up and join them," he says in the ad, shared on YouTube this week. "There will always be reasons to think your vote doesn't matter. That's not new. What is new is a growing movement for justice, equality and progress on so many issues."

Mr. Obama said "this really is a tipping point, and that momentum only continues if we win this election."

"But it's going to be close," he continued. "It could come down to a handful of voters just like you. So I'm asking you to bring this thing home. Leave no doubt. Vote early." 

The 2020 election is already here! by The Democrats on YouTube

The 2016 presidential election was extremely close, with Hillary Clinton winning 64,429,062 votes – more than President Trump's 62,352,375. Mr. Trump, however, won the Electoral College with 306 electoral votes.

This is not the first time Mr. Obama has urged Americans to take this election seriously and know that their vote counts. In an ad released ahead of the first presidential debate between Joe Biden and President Trump, Mr. Obama warned that the Trump administration is "working to keep people from voting."

In the ad for the Biden campaign, Mr. Obama said "our democracy itself" is at stake in the 2020 election

Early voting is underway in 22 states, with some locations seeing long lines and hours-long wait times, CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe reported. Early voting turnout this year has already broken records. More than 14.9 million early votes were in as of Wednesday, shattering records set in 2016. 

There are several ways to cast votes early, including sending mail-in ballots and voting in-person in states that allow it. Election Day is November 3, but with a likely surge in mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic, that could turn in to "Election Week."

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