MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are less than three weeks to go until Election Day, but it could take up to four weeks before we know who won certain races.

Among the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota has already hit a record number of mail-in ballot requests, at 1,655,912. For context, 2,611,365 people voted in total in 2018.

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Of the ballots that were requested, 911,385 have been accepted as of Friday. Hennepin County has accepted 277,157 so far, and Ramsey County has accepted 104,756.

Nationwide, the data-aggregating site U.S. Elections Project reports more than 22 million ballots have already been accepted in the country, from 81 million requested.

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Steve Simon told WCCO what we can expect as we make our way towards Nov. 3.

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There’s a new rule that ballots have to be postmarked by Nov. 3 and arrive within one week. That means we won’t have the final numbers until the evening of Nov. 10. We could know well before then who won various races; it just depends on how close they are.

Simon has been pushing for mail-in ballots, and pushing through the security questions that come with them.

The results on Election Night will reflect in-person, early and absentee ballots. But mail-in ballots will be accepted for one week after Election Day, if postmarked Nov. 3. We could know well beforehand who won the various races, but it will depend on how close they are.

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You can track your ballot online to make sure it got there — and if it didn’t or you didn’t get it, contact your local election office. You can also drop it off in person.

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