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Miami-Dade tops in mail ballots and early voting

More than 800,000 ballots had been cast by Friday morning, 11 days before a closed primary election when both parties will nominate candidates for governor and other state and local offices.

The Division of Elections reports that 785,400 voters had cast mail ballots and more than 49,000 people had voted early, for a statewide total of about 834,000. Republicans continue to outpace Democrats by about 388,000 to 338,000.

Miami-Dade, the state's most populous county, is the turnout leader, with about 92,000 ballots cast. The county total has risen steadily after it began offering early voting last Monday at 20 locations.

Pinellas is No. 2 with about 71,000 ballots, all by mail. The third-largest pre-primary turnout is Hillsborough, with about 69,000 ballots as of Friday morning. Hillsborough also began early voting last Monday.

The amount of ballots cast is expected to increase significantly over the weekend, as all 67 counties begin early voting on Saturday.

A total of 1.8 million mail ballots are in circulation and have not been returned, the state reports.

About 2 million Floridians cast ballots in the last midterm primary in 2014.