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by AFP
Andrew Burton-Getty Images North America—AFP

Andrew Burton-Getty Images North America—AFP

The key political dates of the U.S. election year ahead.

The first votes in the U.S. presidential election process will be cast on Feb. 1, in the heartland state of Iowa. Here are the key political dates in 2016, from primary debates and statewide caucus votes to national conventions and the big day on Nov. 8:

Jan. 28: Republican debate in Des Moines, Iowa

Jan. 31: Federal Election Commission reporting deadline for campaign year-end 2015 financial and fundraising figures

Feb. 1: Iowa caucuses

Feb. 6: Republican debate in Manchester, New Hampshire

Feb. 9: New Hampshire primaries

Feb. 11: Democratic debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Feb. 13: Republican debate in Greenville, South Carolina

Feb. 20: South Carolina Republican primary

Feb. 20: Nevada Democratic caucus

Feb. 23: Nevada Republican caucus

Feb. 26: Republican debate in Houston, Texas

Feb. 27: South Carolina Democratic primary

March 1: “Super Tuesday” primaries in 13 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado (Democrats), Georgia, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia.

March 5: Kansas caucuses, Kentucky Republican caucus, Louisiana Democratic primary, Maine Republican caucus, Nebraska Democratic caucus

March 6: Maine Democratic caucus

March 8: Hawaii Republican caucus, Idaho Republican primary, Michigan and Mississippi primaries

March 9: Democratic debate in Miami, Florida

March 10: Republican debate in Miami, Florida

March 12: Washington, D.C. Republican caucus

March 15: Primaries in five major states: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio

March 22: Arizona and Utah primaries, Idaho Democratic caucus

March 26: Democratic caucuses in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington state

April 5: Wisconsin primaries

April 9: Wyoming Democratic caucus

April 19: New York primaries

April 26: Primaries in five northeastern states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island

May 3: Indiana primaries

May 10: Nebraska Republican primary, West Virginia primaries

May 17: Kentucky Democratic primary, Oregon primaries

May 24: Washington state Republican primary

June 7: Primaries in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota.

June 14: Washington, D.C. Democratic primary. Final day of primaries.

July 18-21: Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

July 25-28: Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

September: Absentee or in-person early voting is expected to begin in several states

Sept. 26: First presidential debate at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio

Oct. 4: Vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia

Oct. 9: Second presidential debate at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri

Oct. 19: Third and final presidential debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Nov. 8: Election day, established by law as the Tuesday following the first Monday in November

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