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Maine Absentee Ballot Requests Double That Of 2018 Primary Election

Requests for absentee ballots in Maine’s July primary are already over 71,000. That’s double the number from two years ago, when both major parties had primary elections in the race for governor.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says his office may have to have more absentee ballots printed as demand has exceeded his initial estimates.

“There is a pandemic and we have been strongly encouraging folks along with a lot of the major nonprofits like AARP and the League of Women Voters, have all been encouraging and urging people to make use of the absentee ballot,” he says. “Two years ago at this time we had about 35,982 requests for absentee ballots. As of today we have about 71,279. That’s double.”

Dunlap says with Democrats having a primary in the U.S. Senate race and Republicans a primary in the 2nd District, partisan groups are also urging use of absentee ballots. He says absentee voting has been on the rise over the years, and 2020 could well set a record in both the primary and fall General Election.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.