Votes cast in the Nov. 6 general election surged Tuesday above 1 million. The state Division of Elections reported nearly 1.04 million ballots had been cast through the vote-by-mail method and another 118,360 people had used early-voting locations, which opened Monday in 31 counties.
Republicans held the overall lead, with 456,076 ballots cast by mail and 47,850 through early voting as of Tuesday morning. Democrats had cast 397,393 votes by mail and 51,555 through early voting. Unaffiliated voters had cast 178,294 vote-by-mail ballots and 18,050 early votes.
Early voting is mandatory statewide from Saturday through Nov. 3, but counties had the option to start earlier this week. Sumter County joined the other 31 counties in opening early voting locations on Tuesday. Early voting begins Wednesday in Hernando, Manatee, Pasco and St. Johns counties. Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf and Jackson counties will offer early voting through Nov. 5, as allowed under an executive order for counties directly hit by Hurricane Michael.