(Portland Press Herald/Kevin Miller) — Maine Democrats had requested more than twice as many absentee ballots as Republicans by the end of September, according to figures from the Secretary of State’s Office.


Registered Democrats accounted for 11,152 of the 23,178 absentee ballot requests – nearly 50 percent – submitted with clerks’ offices statewide as of Sept. 29, according to the latest tally. Registered Republicans, by comparison, had submitted 4,866 absentee ballot requests, while unenrolled voters had requested 6,440 ballots. Green Independent and registered Libertarians – a new official party in Maine – accounted for 720 ballot requests.

Early voting has grown in popularity in Maine and across the country, driven in part by the convenience for voters and organized efforts by campaigns or political parties to lock in votes before Election Day. In 2012, more than 190,000 Maine voters used absentee ballots to vote by mail or in person before Election Day, representing roughly 26 percent of all votes cast during that presidential election.