TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) — More than a million vote-by-mail ballots have been sent to voters in Miami-Dade and Broward as the countdown to Election Day draws closer.

In Miami-Dade, 586,640 ballots have been sent to voters who requested them.  In the five days since Miami-Dade’s first mailing, 1,876 ballots have been returned.

In Broward, 460,440 ballots have been sent to voters who requested them. Broward’s first mailing was a week and a half ago and so far, 76,606 have been returned.

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Statewide, 4,714,785 ballots have been provided and 701,520 have already returned them.

The number of people voting by mail this year has dramatically increased, given the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Also, Florida Democrats are building a substantial lead in mail-in ballot requests for November’s presidential election. The Florida secretary of state’s office shows that 2.1 million Democrats have requested a vote-by-mail ballot, compared with 1.5 million Republicans.  Another one million ballots have gone out to voters with no party affiliation.

Florida Democratic Party officials say the gap shows its voters are enthused to vote for Joe Biden. Republican officials say they aren’t worried, that their voters will show up in person at the polls. Political analysts say the Democrats still need to get supporters to return the ballots.

Saturday, October 24 is the deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot.

Request a ballot through your county supervisor of Elections website. Immediate family members or guardians can request a ballot for someone else. A voter’s signature is required and must match the signature on file.

Vote-by-mail ballots must be received by your county supervisor of Elections by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

With its 29 electoral votes, Florida is crucial to both candidates but especially so for Trump, who moved his official residence to his Palm Beach estate Mar-a-Lago from New York last year. A Florida loss would make it nearly impossible for Trump to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to retain the White House.

No Republican has lost Florida and won the presidency since Calvin Coolidge in 1924.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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