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56 percent of total NV voters already cast ballots

Associated Press Modified: November 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm •  Published: November 3, 2012

RENO, Nev. (AP) — More than 700,000 Nevadans cast ballots during early voting in advance of Tuesday's general election, with nearly 50,000 more Democrats than Republicans voting in the battleground state.

Fifty-six percent of the state's 1.2 million registered voters took advantage of the two-week window for early voting that ended Friday night, Secretary of State Ross Miller said Saturday.

That's up from the 53.7 percent turnout during early voting in the 2008 general election when a total of nearly 650,000 Nevadans cast ballots early, he said.

"The numbers for early voting are very high," Miller said. "Since I've been in office (2007), the early voting numbers have gone up every election cycle."

Miller expects an overall voter turnout of 80 percent in Nevada because of tight races between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

A total of nearly 308,000 Democrats, or 44 percent of all early voters, already have cast ballots, compared with nearly 260,000 Republicans, or 37 percent. About 134,000 voters not registered with the parties account for the rest.

Republican political consultant Jim Denton of Henderson said the numbers bode well for Obama. He noted Democrats comfortably outpaced the GOP in early voting in Clark County around Las Vegas, and held their own in Washoe County around Reno. Democrats also hold a 90,000 voter registration edge over Republicans statewide.

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