WILLMAR — The League of Women Voters is encouraging voters to vote by mail this year, according to a news release from the organization.

“Although our polling places will utilize pandemic precautions, voting by mail will be safer,” the League says in the release.

Voters can check their voting status and can request an absentee ballot at the Minnesota Secretary State website at mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us.

“When you receive your absentee ballot, be sure to follow all the steps carefully. This pandemic year, the signature of a witness will not be necessary, unless you have changed your address or name since you last voted or registered, in which case you will receive materials to re-register and send your registration with your absentee ballot,” reads the release.

The League of Women Voters is asking voters to mail their ballots as soon as possible.

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“Mailing your ballot by Oct. 15 will enable voting officials to check that your vote is valid because you followed all directions, and they can notify you if it was not valid, so you can vote another way,” reads the release.

You can check the status of your absentee ballot at mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/AbsenteeBallotStatus.aspx.

Locally, voters can also go to the Kandiyohi County Auditor’s Office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays at 400 Benson Ave. S.W. in Willmar where they can register to vote now and, starting Friday, vote early in person. You may also deposit your ballot in the box outside the door by Nov. 2.

Every county has an official election office — typically the auditor's office — and voters can find contact information on the Secretary of State website by searching "find county election office."

Voters can also vote on Election Day Nov. 3 at their polling place, which can found at pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us.