With the June 8, 2010, Primary and Special Referendum Election just over a month away, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap reminds voters that it is easier than ever to vote by using the Online Absentee Ballot Request Service.

This June, parties will pick their gubernatorial nominees and legislative candidates, as well as nominees for a variety of county offices. Voters will also be deciding the outcome of a People's Veto question and four bond questions.

Maine law makes it easy to cast an absentee ballot. Citizens don't have to be out-of-town or have any other reason to take advantage of voting by absentee ballot. Residents can vote at their town office in advance of election day, or contact the town clerk for information on mailing an absentee ballot.

This year 217 cities and towns in Maine will accept electronic absentee ballot requests from the Online Absentee Ballot Request Service - www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/ online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl - and, voters from every Maine town can use the service to find all of the information they need to vote by absentee ballot.

"In 2008, the first year Maine law allowed municipalities the option to accept electronic absentee ballot requests, 52 towns and cities chose that option," says Secretary Dunlap. "Now this year, we've seen the number of participating towns more than quadruple from that first election."

The online service provides three ways to request an absentee ballot:

1. Voters in the 217 participating municipalities may fill out and submit their request forms online;

2. Any voter, regardless of municipality, may fill out a request form online, print out and sign the completed form, and mail the signed form to their municipal clerk; or,

3. Any voter, regardless of municipality, may print a blank request form, fill it out by hand and mail the completed form to their municipal clerk.

"Whichever method works best for you, they are now all readily accessible on our website," says Dunlap, at www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/ online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl.