AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Shenna Bellows announced Aug. 8 that Maine voters now may begin requesting absentee ballots for the Nov. 8 general election.

While ballots themselves won’t be available until 30 days before Election Day, Maine law allows voters to request ballots three months before Election Day.

“Maine’s no-excuse absentee voting law is a big reason our elections are accessible, safe and secure,” Bellows said in a press release. For those who find it difficult to vote in person on Election Day, “no-excuse absentee voting ensures they can make their voices heard at the ballot box.”

Voters may request ballots online at https://apps.web.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl or by contacting their town or city clerk. Contact information for municipal clerks is available at maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/munic.html.

Ballots will be issued in October to voters who have requested them, 30 days prior to Election Day.

Maine’s absentee voting period, including in-person absentee voting at town and city halls, continues through Thursday, Nov. 3.

Maine voters need to submit only one request to receive their absentee ballot, once ballots are available.

“Voters may receive absentee ballot request forms in the mail from election-related groups or political parties,” Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn said in the press release.

“If they’ve already submitted a request online, there’s no need to also submit a paper request. Maine’s local election clerks check for duplicate requests, and will only fill the initial request.”

Once a ballot request is submitted, Maine voters can track the process of that request and their ballot at https://apps.web.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/ballot_status.pl. Voters who need a replacement ballot should contact their municipal clerk.

All absentee ballots must be received by a voter’s municipality by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Only one ballot per voter will be processed and counted, whether cast in person or by absentee voting. Post-election processes at the local and state level confirm that the number of voters who participate in the election and the number of votes counted match.