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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Here's how many Iowa absentee ballots have been returned so far

325,000 absentee ballots statewide have already been returned.

A record number of Iowans are expected to vote absentee this general election before Nov. 3.

If the June primary was any indication for what we could expect this November, it shouldn't be any surprise that so many Iowa voters are choosing to do things a little different ahead of Election Day.

Let's take a look at the numbers.

As of Thursday morning, the U.S. Elections Project is reporting over 325,000 absentee ballots have already been returned out of the roughly 734,000 requests for an absentee ballot.

So roughly half of those voters in Iowaso far, have already made up their mind.

That's significant when you look at the 2016 general election. More than 647,000 total Iowans voted absentee then and over 934,000 voted in-person.

Voter turnout was nearly 73%

Historically, more Democrats vote early and more Republicans vote on Election Day.

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Looking at early voting this year, that trend is continuing: Registered Democrats have requested 373,769 absentee ballots and more than 189,000 have voted.

Republicans have requested around 224,000 absentee ballots and a little more than 88,000 have filled them in and sent them back, a 39% return rate.

Independent voters are also voting early: 132,701 absentee ballots requested and 47,231 returned.

So with a little more than two weeks to Election Day, Iowa is already seeing more requests to vote early than the last presidential contest.

That number will only grow as the last day to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 24. Make sure to get it in the mail and postmarked by Nov. 2.

To learn more about voting in Iowa, click here to access Local 5's Voter Guide or text VOTE to 515-457-1026.

RELATED: Here are 6 reasons absentee ballots get rejected in Iowa