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story.lead_photo.caption A roll of stickers awaiting distribution to early voters sits on a table at the check-in station at the Pulaski County Courthouse Annex in Little Rock. (AP / Kelly P. Kissel )

Arkansas surpassed the total number of early votes cast in the 2016 election with three more days left of early voting before Election Day, according to Secretary of State John Thurston.

Thurston tweeted on Friday morning that 643,629 Arkansans had cast their ballots during early voting, which ends Monday. During all of early voting in 2016, Arkansans cast 623,870 ballots.

Early voting continues Friday, Saturday and Monday. Polls will open again on Tuesday for Election Day.

Arkansas joins a number of other states that have seen a surge in turnout in early voting.

On Friday, Texas became the first state to surpass its entire turnout from the 2016 election during early voting, according to the U.S. Elections Project.

More than 1.13 million Arkansans voted in the 2016 election, when turnout was 64%. Thurston’s office projects that as many as 1.23 million Arkansans -- 68% of registered voters -- could cast ballots this year, including up to 400,000 on Election Day.

In addition to in-person early votes, Arkansans have turned in 108,372 of the state's 131,558 requested absentee ballots, according to the secretary of state's office.

That's a more than 250% increase in absentee votes since 2016, when 29,393 Arkansans cast absentee ballots.

Absentee ballots can be delivered in-person to the county clerk's office until the end of business Monday, while ballots sent through the mail in the U.S. must arrive at the clerk's office by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.


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