Nearly 40,000 voters have requested mail-in ballots for the Aug. 26 primary election, up by nearly 48 percent from the number requested in 2012.

According to the Bradenton Herald, the county Supervisor of Elections office says 38,666 voters have already requested mail-in ballots. The number requested two years ago was 26,074.

Republicans have requested the most ballots (19,310 to 11,819 for Democrats and 7,537 for other parties), the Herald reported.

Only registered voters can request mail-in ballots. The registration deadline for the primary election is July 28.

The first batch of ballots is expected to go out this week.