BOSTON (AP) — Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin is encouraging voters to hand deliver their mail-in ballots if they can instead of dropping them in the mail.

Galvin, a Democrat, said that’s the best way to guarantee that a ballot will be counted in the Sept. 1 primary.

Ballots can be dropped off at early voting locations around the state, according to Galvin. Early voting begins Saturday.

Saturday is also the last day to register to vote in the state primary. It’s the first time early voting has been available for a state primary in Massachusetts.

Ballots must reach each voter’s local election office by 8 p.m. on Sept. 1 in order to be counted. It’s not good enough just to have the ballot postmarked by that date.

Voters who submitted applications to vote by mail don’t have to wait for their ballots to arrive in order to vote. If they haven’t mailed back their ballot, they can still vote in person during the early voting period or on Sept. 1, he said.

Voters can find early voting locations and ballot drop boxes in their communities by going to the secretary website.

The most closely-watched race on the primary ballot in Massachusetts pits challenger U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy lll against fellow Democratic U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, the incumbent.

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