Secretary of State John Gale says more voters have requested an early voting ballot for this year's primary election in the first five days than in the same time period in the last four state primaries.
More than 23,000 requests have already been made this year. Over 2,500 have already been returned to county election offices.
The number of early voters has increase dramatically since 2008 when only 480 requests were made for early ballots in the first five days.
"The campaigns and third parties have certainly become more active in pushing for early votes," explained Gale. "That transition started to happen right around 2008 and has continued ever since."
Prior to 1999 voters were required
to say why they were requesting an early voting ballot -- then called an
absentee ballot -- something that is no longer required.
"Eliminating the justification for receiving an early voting ballot has made the process easier for voters," Gale said.
Registered voters can request an early voting ballot 120 days prior to the election. The first wave of ballots went out April 7. They are due back into the county election offices by the time polls close on Election Day, which is May 13. However, they will not be accepted at polling sites on Election Day.
Voters also have the option to vote in person at their county election office until May 12.