The final tally is in: More people cast early ballots for Tuesdays primary than they did in the last mid-term elections, in 2010.
The count, released Sunday by the state Board of Elections, shows 268,298 early votes. Most of that 258,780 was one-stop voting. The 2010 total was 172,972.
There were fewer days to vote early this year, because of a new law. But that obviously didnt slow things down.
The party breakdown shows Democrats voted in higher numbers than the statewide percentage of people registered in that party: 47.8 percent of the early ballots cast were by registered Democrats; 42 percent of the registered voters are Democrats.
Votes by registered Republicans came in at 33.3 percent, and those unaffiliated accounted for 18.8 percent.
But with 6.5 million registered voters in the state, there are plenty more who should get to the polls on Tuesday.
Heres what you need to know to vote:
• Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. If youre in line by 7:30 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.
• You do not need a photo ID to vote. You will be asked if you have one and if you dont, youll be asked to sign a declaration acknowledging the photo ID requirement and that you dont meet it. County boards of elections workers will provide you with information on how to get a free ID.
The one exception: If youre a new voter in a county, you may need to show an ID if the drivers license or Social Security number listed on your registration form cant be verified. If that happens, you can show a photo ID or one of the following items that contains your name and current address: a utility bill, bank or bank-card statement, payroll stub or any government document such as a license or bill.
• You cant vote a straight ticket. In the past, you could mark a single space and support all the candidates of one party with the exception of the president and some nonpartisan races.
• You cant use a cell phone or have a camera inside your polling place. If you need a little help remembering who to vote for, write your list on a piece of paper. Thats allowed as long as you dont show it to anyone else once youre inside the no campaigning zone.
• If you are registered unaffiliated, you can choose either a Democratic, Republican or Libertarian ballot. Your choice of ballot in the primary does not affect your choices in November.
• If you are not registered to vote, you cannot register on Election Day. To vote in the Nov. 4 general election, you must register by Oct. 10.
• In addition to the U.S. Senate race, there is a statewide race for the state Supreme Court. Be sure to check both sides of your ballot to make sure you vote in all races.
• Some races are nonpartisan and some judicial and municipal races allow you to vote for more than one candidate. Be sure to read the instructions for each race before voting.
• If you make a mistake on your ballot, you may ask for a new one. The spoiled one will not be counted.
Staff writer Mary Cornatzer contributed