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More than 20,000 requests for absentee ballots filed in one day, Maine Sec. of State says

The online request service for absentee ballots opened Monday for the November General Election.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Editor's note: The above video explains the difference between absentee ballots and mail-in ballots.

On Monday Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced the online service to request an absentee ballot for the November 3 General Election is now open.

After just one day, the Secretary of State's Office says more than 20,000 requests for absentee ballots have been filed using the online system. 

The Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office worked with the State’s online service provider to improve the design of the online service to make options more clear and easier to read, officials say.

There is also a new option for voters to request an accessible absentee ballot, which will allow voters with disabilities to cast their absentee ballots privately and independently. The Secretary of State’s Office says the accessible voting option is still the development stages and will go live in mid-September.

Any registered Maine voter may choose to vote absentee, either via mail or in-person at their town or city hall prior to Election Day. Voters do not need to provide a reason to vote absentee.

Click here to request an absentee ballot through the online service. The online service provides an email notification with a confirmation number. When the request is processed and accepted by the municipal clerk, the voter will receive additional notification and the ballot will arrive by mail. All Maine municipalities are required to accept electronic requests for absentee ballots. Voters can also print out the form and mail or hand-deliver it to their municipal clerk.

Maine election laws require absentee ballots to turned in to the municipal clerk by 8 p.m. on election night.

Voters must submit absentee ballot requests or vote in-person absentee at least three business days prior to the Nov. 3 Election. Municipal clerks receive the ballots 30 days prior to the election and will then begin to send ballots to voters who have requested them, beginning in early October.

If you have questions about the absentee voting process in Maine, visit the Department of Secretary of State Absentee Voter Information webpage, or call the Division of Elections at 207-624-7650. 

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