JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With nearly a week to go before Election Day, 3.4 million voters have cast ballots in the battleground state of Florida.
New statistics from the state Division of Elections show that more than 1.48 million people have voted early and more than 1.93 million people have voted by mail.
In Duval County, where early voting has been open for eight days, 137,662 people have cast ballots, which is 22.7% of registered voters. As of Saturday, early voting sites are open in all 67 counties in Florida.
Voter turnout is on pace to set a record for a Florida midterm election. With at least four days of early voting left, more Floridians have already cast ballots early than voted before Election Day in 2014. The state's highest turnout by percentage in a modern election without a presidential race was in 1994, when 66 percent voted.
Florida voters are choosing whether their new governor should be Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum or former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis. Outgoing Gov. Rick Scott also is challenging U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in a race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate.
EARLY VOTING: When, where you can vote this week
VOTER'S GUIDE: All the races on the ballot in NE Florida/SE Georgia
No votes are actually counted until the polls close on Election Day, but analysts try to read the political tea leaves by analyzing the early voting pattern. Statewide, about 69,000 more Republicans than Democrats have cast ballots, but more than 592,000 independent voters have cast ballots. Those analysts believe most voters not affiliated with either party will likely vote for Republican Ron DeSantis or Democrat Andrew Gillum rather than the reform candidate or one of four NPA candidates on the ballot for governor -- but for which one?