MONTPELIER — With early voting for the August primaries set to start Friday, outgoing Secretary of State Jim Condos is endorsing the practice.

“Early voting options have proven to increase both voter access and voter participation in our civic process,” Condos said in a prepared statement. “Our democracy is stronger when we all vote.”

City and town clerks across Vermont have been accepting absentee ballot requests for the August primaries for weeks and, in the case of some voters, months, and the elections division in Condos’ office recently mailed postcards to all registered voters in the state with instructions to request absentee ballots.

Though in-person voting will be an option in August (and again in November), voters who want to save themselves the trip can request early ballots through their unique “MyVoterPage” on the Secretary of State’s website, or by calling, writing or emailing their local clerk or swinging by their city or town office.

The primaries are a little trickier for early voters than Town Meeting Day or the general election in November because there are multiple ballots.

Individuals who request early ballots will receive three — one for each primary — Democratic, Republican and Progressive. You can only vote one, but must also return the two blank ballots, or risk your ballot being deemed defective.

Otherwise, the rules, which are printed on the ballot package, are the same, and should be followed to the letter.

All early ballots must be received by the clerk before the polls close for the primaries at 7 p.m. on Aug. 9.

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