Election Officials are urging area residents to get a head start on preparing for the general election on November 6.

Blue Earth County Director of Taxpayer Services Mike Stalberger says voters should make sure their registration is current.

“So if somebody has moved in the last couple of years, changed their name, or hasn’t voted for a while or they are new to voting, we want to make sure that they get to MNvotes.org. That will get their status in place for anybody who wants to vote early by absentee, for anybody who wants to request us to mail them a ballot or for any of our mail voters out in some of the rural parts of the county.”  

A growing popular option for voting has been through absentee ballots. During the primary in August, Blue Earth County accepted 9-thousand 422 total votes, with 2-thousand 70 of those by absentee, which accounted for 24-percent of the turnout.

“We do really chalk that up to the fact that it’s more convenient for folks. They are able to vote when they want to and how they want to. And being able to study candidates a little bit more thoroughly or if they chose to do it because they can stop in on a lunch break a week or a month before the election, they can take care of that at our office. So, we do think it’s that convenience factor for voters.”

In comparison, the County only received 1-thousand absentee ballots during the 2016 primary.

Stalberger says the main question they have been receiving from voters is when can they vote, but adds that ballots won’t be available until September 21.

“So people would need to wait until at least then in order to get a ballot. The other thing that we are seeing is we have quite a bit of interest from new voters. Just a friendly reminder, you must be 18 in order to vote. Also with our college students being back in town, they just need to pay attention to the rules for college voters. Students who are attending college do have the ability to decide their residence. We need to make sure they choose only one location to vote for this upcoming election.”

Polling places on Election Day will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. To find your polling location, (CLICK HERE).

For more information on voter registration, head to http://MNvotes.org.