AUGUSTA — The number of absentee ballots issued by the secretary of state’s office for this election is going to be far fewer than four years ago.

Spokeswoman Megan Sanborn says 188,180 ballots had been requested and more than 150,000 had been returned as of Thursday’s deadline. No more absentee ballots can be issued barring special circumstances, but voters have until the close of polls on Tuesday to return previously issued ballots.

Sanborn notes that the numbers are far less than in 2008, when about 32 percent of votes – or 238,940 of them – were cast via absentee ballots.

Although the deadline has passed, an absentee ballot still may be requested if the voter completes a special circumstances application.


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