Hundreds Of Thousands Locally Have Cast Absentee Ballots

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Absentee ballots have been going out for weeks and the return rate could be foreshadowing a record turnout on Election Day.

In Miami-Dade County, a total of 253,406 absentee ballots have been mailed out through October 25. So far, 102,934 of the ballots mailed out in Miami-Dade County have been returned, or more than 40 percent.

Monroe County Elections officials told CBS4 Friday that a total of 7,699 absentee ballots have been returned to the County.

Traditionally, absentee balloting has favored the Republican Party. In 2008, John McCain led Barack Obama by roughly 16 percent in absentee balloting at this point in the campaign. This year, Mitt Romney leads Obama by roughly 5 points in absentee ballots returned.

Early voting, which starts Saturday, has historically broken in favor of the Democrats. That’s why the Obama campaign is feeling confident about its numbers in Florida if the absentee ballot numbers hold up through election day.

Still, according to the New York Times’ Nate Silver’s forecast model, Romney has a 65 percent chance of carrying the state of Florida on November 6.

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