More than 46,500 ballots were cast in the first three days of early voting in the Maryland gubernatorial primary, according to the State Board of Elections.
The bulk of those came in the first two days, on Thursday and Friday, when 20,382 ballots and 17,115 ballots were cast, respectively, according to board data. There were 9,024 ballots cast Saturday.
The total of 46,521 represents about 1.4 percent of eligible, active voters on precinct registries.
Maryland started offering early voting in 2010.
The state's electorate cast 33,016 ballots in the first three days of early voting for the primary elections that year, according to board data. In the 2012 presidential primary, more than 36,000 Marylanders voted in the first three days of early voting, the data said.
"We need to remind one another that there is an early primary, and that primary is June 24," said Gov. Martin O'Malley said at the beginning of the early voting period. "We do want a higher turnout. We do want democracy to work."
More than 73 percent, or 34,111, of the ballots were cast by Democrats, and about 25 percent were cast by Republicans.
Baltimore County had the most ballots cast, with 7,036. Prince George's County had 6,518; Montgomery County had 6,264; Baltimore City had 5,194; and Anne Arundel had 5,066.
Howard County had 3,162; Harford had 2,177; and Carroll had 1,624.
Frederick County had 1,594 and Charles County had 1,176. All other counties in the state had fewer than 1,000 ballots cast. The totals do not include provisional or absentee voters.
Early voting lasts through Thursday. At least one voting center is open in each county from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The election is June 24.
According to board data, about 1,000 fewer voters turned out for the 2012 early voting period, compared to the inaugural early voting session.
In September 2010, approximately 2.4 percent (77,288) of the state's nearly 3.2 million voters participated in early voting for the gubernatorial primary. In March 2012, about 2.4 percent (76,124) of the nearly 3.2 million eligible voters cast ballots in advance of the presidential primary election date.
Baltimore Sun staff reporters Colin Campbell and Yvonne Wenger contributed to this article.
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