All Eyes Shift To Florida As Early Voting Begins

Record crowds are heading to the polls in Florida and voters are waiting hours to cast their ballots.

Counties large and small, traditionally Democrat and traditionally Republican, are reporting record turnout as the Sunshine State kicks off two weeks of early voting. The voting sites will remain open until the weekend before Election Day.

Florida is again key this election, with 27 electoral votes, 10 percent of the 270 needed to clinch the election. John McCain and Barack Obama are locked in a close race.

Registration numbers show a 600,000-voter edge for Democrats over Republicans in Florida: 4.7 million versus 4.1 million, with 2.1 million people identifying with neither party.

The McCain campaign says it expects more Democrats than Republicans to vote early, but says GOP voters have requested
295,000 absentee ballots statewide compared with 199,000 Democrats.

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