Heavy Early Voting

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia residents have packed polling places as early voting started in earnest this week. They have braved lines as long as eight hours to cast ballots and forcing some voting sites to stay open deep into the night.

Polls have been open in Georgia since Sept. 22, but dozens more
opened this week as part of a statewide strategy to ease the crunch on Election Day. The advance voting sites will be open every day
through Friday.

The new system has been popular: About 200,000 votes cast their
ballots on Monday alone. They're among 1.2 million people -- more than 20 percent of the state's 5.6 million registered voters, who have voted early so far.

In Florida, a crucial battleground state where early voting lines have also been long, Gov. Charlie Christ signed an executive order yesterday keeping polling places open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. That's four hours longer than specified in state law. Christ cited record turnout in signing the order.

Nationwide, about a third of voters in more than 30 states are
expected to cast their ballots before Election Day.


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