The Suffolk Board of Elections has received more than twice the number of requests for absentee ballots in the 1st Congressional District -- where Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) faces GOP challenger Randy Altschuler -- than it did when the two faced off two years ago.

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As of Wednesday, there were 23,101 requests: they include 7,879 from Democrats and 8,348 from Republicans, as well as 531 from Conservatives and 1,012 Independence members whose parties backed Altschuler. Another 5,163 requests came from unaffiliated voters. In 2010, Bishop won by 593 votes after a monthlong recount that included nearly 10,000 absentee ballots.

-- Rick Brand