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Almost 50,000 vote-by-mail ballots have been returned

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Nearly 50,000 vote-by-mail ballots already have been returned out of the 2.7 million requested for the November general election.

Tuesday’s tally, exactly 48,331, was posted on the state’s Division of Elections website. That includes ballots to service members and others outside the country.

Registered Republicans lead in voted ballots to Democrats by 21,027 to 18,421, a gap of 2,606. Other party and no-party voters have returned another 8,883 ballots.

Pinellas far outpaces all other counties, with 12,014 voted ballots having been returned, the website shows.

In second place is Orange County with 4,318 ballots, and Collier is third with 4,200.

Lawmakers recently changed the name of such ballots to “vote-by-mail” ballots from the traditional “absentee” ballots.

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