by Bob Geary
The numbers after early voting sites closed Saturday evening: 2,573,206 votes have already been cast in the state, according to the State Board of Elections (click on "2008 General Absentee Summary" PDF).
That's 41% of registered voters who've already been to a one-stop site or else mailed in their ballots.
In the 2004 election, for comparison, the TOTAL turnout was 65% of registered voters -- casting 3.5 million ballots for president -- counting one-stops, mail-ins AND election-day voters.
The '08 early turnout was disproportionately Democratic (52% vs. 30% Republican) and African-American (26% of the total vs. 21% of the state's population). Women outnumbered men 56%-43% (with 1% lost to rounding and the 0.2% who were "unknown").