MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More than 20,000 Minneapolis voters have mailed in their ballots early for the Aug. 11 State primary — a sharp increase in comparison to years past, city officials say.

Since June 26, the city has received a record 20,727 completed ballots. That’s more than three times higher than the total 6,006 mail ballots received during the state primary in 2018.

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The uptick comes after health and city officials voiced support for voting early by mail to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For residents still wanting to vote early by mail, the city recommends applying for a mail ballot at least 10 days before the Aug. 11 primary.

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Mail ballots for the State primary may be mailed back in the postage-paid envelope or delivered in-person to 980 E. Hennepin Avenue.

If voters deliver their ballot-in person, it must be returned by 3 p.m. Aug. 11.

However, for the State primary, a voter’s ballot will count as long as it is postmarked on or before the day of Aug. 11 and is received in the mail no later than two days after the primary. This is a change from previous election law requiring mail ballots to be received by the day of the primary.

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For more information on how to vote by mail click here.