AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The number of absentee ballot requests in Maine has topped 233,000, and Democrats continue to outnumber Republicans in requesting the ballots.

As of Tuesday, 233,438 voters had requested an absentee ballot; that’s an increase of more than 42,000 from the previous week, the secretary of state’s office said.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mainers are being encouraged to vote by absentee ballots in the Nov. 3 election.

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

To date, Democrats had made 133,609 requests for absentee ballots compared to 37,191 by Republicans and 56,172 by unenrolled voters.

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