Tammy O’Donnell, left, and Eliza Porter, Cumberland’s town clerk and assistant clerk, show off the binders of absentee ballot requests they had received as of June 2. Alex Lear/The Forecaster

AUGUSTA — Maine voters are taking advantage of absentee ballots at an unprecedented rate in advance of the July 14 primary.
The Bangor Daily News reported Friday that 163,000 Mainers have requested the ballots. Voting on the day of the primary is likely to be complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, and that has led local and state officials to encourage absentee voting.

The volume of absentee ballots is a record for a primary. It would take a big final push to equal the state record of 244,000 set during the 2008 general election.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills issued an executive order that voters can request absentee ballots up until Election Day. One of the biggest items on the ballot is the statewide Democratic primary to run against Republican Sen. Susan Collins.

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