For most voters, the 2012 Florida Republican Presidential Preference Primary and Gainesville city elections are on Tuesday. But for thousands of early voters in Alachua County, the elections have already happened.
Early voting began at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 and ended Saturday.
By 4 p.m. Saturday, when the polls closed, 3,976 votes had been cast, said Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter.
In addition, 3,971 absentee ballots had been collected as of 5 p.m. Saturday, though that number is expected to increase by 7 p.m. Tuesday, she said.
Early voting was slightly different this year due to the state's change in election laws.
In past elections, early voting was open for two weeks. This year, by the new election standards, early voting was reduced to eight days.
Despite this change, the early voting process has run smoothly, and voter turnout has been steady and fairly high, Carpenter said.
"We usually see high interest in the beginning, which dips down in the middle and increases again at the end," she said. "But this year, we've had a steady uptick in number each day."