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Early voting turnout strong in Jacksonville

Fewer early voting days did not deter Jacksonville voters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Eight days of early voting for dozens of federal, state and local races ended Saturday with higher than expected turnout in Jacksonville, but lower response across Florida.

Duval County's supervisor of elections reported Saturday night that 17,698 people voted early -- 3.666 on the final day.  That 3 percent of registered voters.

In the Florida primary two years ago, when early voting lasted for 16 days, only 15,878 Duval County voters cast ballots early.

An additional 20,780 absentee ballots have been received and validated in Duval County by Saturday.

While early reports showed early voting was down statewide, a spot check by News4Jax.com found 3.1 percent of Dade County vote cast ballots by Saturday evening, 2.9 percent in Hillsborough County, 2.7 percent in Orange county and 1.4 percent of Broward County voters voted early.

State lawmakers invited controversy and at least one lawsuit by shortening the early voting period from 16 days to eight, but many counties extended voting hours each of those days to allow people to vote after work.

All precincts in Florida will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.