ALBANY As election season approaches, the U. S. Postal Service is reminding those voting by absentee ballot to keep a few key dates in mind. Voters within mainland U.S. should mail completed absentee ballots no less than five days before they are due. Americans overseas, such as those serving in the armed forces, should send ballots back at least two weeks before Election Day, Tues. Nov. 4. Service members in Iraq and Afghanistan are asked to mail completed ballots by Tues. Sept. 30. With more than 31 million ballots expected to be mailed this fall, the Postal Service is urging voters to mail early, customer relations coordinator Rowena D. Albert said. Were very fortunate to live in the United States where our votes count and we want to make sure they are received to be counted, she said. Those sending out absentee ballots should also make sure to affix the proper postage, said Albert. Sometimes people think because they have balloting mail, the postage is already paid, Albert said. Then, it has to be returned for postage, meaning it might not have time to get back to have their vote counted. Service members and Americans living abroad, however, can mail their ballots free of charge by bringing their ballot to APO/FPO post offices or to a U.S. consulate. The postal service also recommends completed ballots be placed inside envelopes correctly. Most return envelopes for ballots have a clear window on the front of the envelope so the mailing address is visible. Registered voters are also advised to ensure their correct address is on file with local election officials. For more information regarding balloting mail, visit the Postal Service website at www.usps.com.