Voters in Maine continue to request absentee ballots at a record pace for the Nov. 3 election, and a large majority of them are Democrats.

As of Tuesday, 233,438 voters had requested a ballot to vote absentee, an increase of more than 42,000 from the previous week, according to the Maine Secretary of State’s Office.

Of the total requests made to date, 133,609 were by Democrats – including 19,895 requests in the past week. Republicans have requested a total of 37,191 ballots, a weekly increase of 6,637, while unenrolled voters, those belonging to no party, have requested 56,172 ballots, including 10,487 in the last week.

Independent Green Party voters have requested 6,466 ballots, an increase of 260.

State and local election officials are promoting the use of absentee ballots in Maine as way to protect against exposure to COVID-19 at polling places.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap has estimated as many as 600,000 of the state’s 1.06 million registered voters, or 57 percent, will cast absentee ballots in November, which would be a record absentee turnout.

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