Absentee Voting a Popular Alternative 

Absentee voting beganMonday, andis becoming increasingly popular in Maine and other states. Maine election officials say that four years ago, 166,000 absentee ballots were submitted. A week and a day before this year’s election, nearly 135,000 have been requested and officials say it’s very likely the previous total will be surpassed.

In Portland, more than 9,100 absentee ballots have been requested, with hundreds more expected each day this week. Rumford’s already surpassed the absentee total for the last presidential election. And in Machias, 177 absentee ballots have been requested, well above the usual 20 or 25.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says potentially a quarter of the ballots cast in this election may be absentee