Heavy early and absentee voting continued around the state, with the latest numbers released on Wednesday morning.
As of Wednesday morning, the Secretary of State’s office reported that 97,218 voters have cast their ballots: 58,224 through early in-person voting and 38,994 through absentee ballots.
This is an increase of 12,055 early in-person votes and 14,107 absentee ballots since Tuesday’s release.
Republicans hold an edge on early in-person votes, with 28,415 voters, or 48.8 percent, compared to the 23,622 Democratic voters, or 40.57 percent.
Early in-person voting is still in limited form, with just one location in each county, until Oct. 17, when it will expand to areas throughout each county.
In 2016, a total of 68,945 voters cast ballots by the beginning of expanded early voting (which fell on Oct. 22 that year), so voters this year have already exceeded that number, with four days to go.
But Democrats have an overall turnout advantage due to their large advantage in absentee ballots; Democrats have returned 26,625 absentee ballots, or 68.28 percent of all returned absentee ballots, while Republicans have returned 7,419, or 19.03 percent.
Overall, Democrats have cast 51.31 percent of all votes cast so far, while Republicans have cast 36.86 percent, Decline to State voters have cast 10.86 percent and Libertarians and minor party members have combined to cast 0.97 percent of all votes.
Voters have requested a total of 358,186 absentee votes, and have returned 10.89 percent of those. Voters can request absentee ballots until Oct. 20; election officials have encouraged voters to request and return ballots as early as possible to help election workers qualify and count the ballots as early as possible.
Early in-person voting is heaviest in southern New Mexico. Eddy County has the most votes, with 6,357, followed by Chaves County at 5,338 and Doña Ana County, at 5,262.
Bernalillo County has nearly half of all returned absentee ballots so far, with 18,525. The next-closest county is Sandoval county, with 5,812. No other county has more than 3,000 returned absentee ballots so far.
In 2016, 69,984 voters requested absentee ballots and 68,376 of those, or more than 97 percent, returned their absentee ballots.
The most absentee ballots cast in any single election was in 2008, when 172,136 voters cast their ballots through absentee ballots.
The overall highest turnout in New Mexico history was also in 2008, when 833,365 voters cast ballots.