Election Day may well become Election Week. Plan on it. And plan on doing your part.

We likely won’t know definitive results for every race for some days after Nov. 3 because citizens are voting absentee in larger numbers than ever before and those ballots will trickle in for days.

Both Minnesota and Wisconsin require that absentee ballots -- if not dropped off in person by Monday, Nov. 2 -- be postmarked on or before Nov. 3. Minnesota’s mailed ballots must reach the voter’s county within seven calendar days to be counted. In Wisconsin, absentee ballots may be counted up to six days after the election, according to a ruling handed down by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals last week.

Voting absentee makes sense during the pandemic. You not only exercise civic duty, but you exercise civic responsibility by helping to minimize the spread of COVID-19. (No one should have to risk their life to vote in America.)

Minnesota already has distributed more than 1 million absentee ballots, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Goodhue County reported on Monday it had sent 8,120 absentee ballots and had accepted 3,226.

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The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported it had sent out 1.25 million absentee ballots as of Oct. 5. The commission, which tracks requests by county, reported that Pierce County voters had requested 7,003 ballots and cast 2,343 of those as of Monday. Pepin County’s numbers were 1,095, with 217 cast, and St. Croix County residents had returned 7,213 of 19,303 ballots requested.

We’re pleased to see so many people being cautious and sensible in more ways than one: They are voting, they are “voting” for good public health, and they aren’t rushing to vote.

You, too, should take your time. Do your homework so you can make informed decisions, then cast your vote only after careful consideration. You also don’t want to vote too early in case you change your mind.

Many elections produce an October “surprise.” Don’t let one make you regret your vote for a particular candidate.

A lot can happen between now and Election Day, but of course make certain one of those things is that you vote.