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Anthony Brown leads in early voting tallies

An early look at the election night party for Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman in College Park. (Ashley S. Westerman for The Baltimore Sun)

Democrat Anthony G. Brown took the lead in early returns for the governor's race, garnering 50.9 percent of the vote from early voters. Republican Larry Hogan had 47.2 percent.

More than 307,000 people cast early ballots in the 2014 election, which represents just 8.31 percent of the electorate.  Twice as many Democrats as Republicans voted during the eight-day early voting period. The closer margin suggests Hogan may have been successful at peeling some Democrats to his side.

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The statewide count did not include early vote totals from Baltimore City, home to a high concentration of Democrats.

Libertarian candidate Shawn Quinn had 1.2 percent of the early vote.

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There are still many ballots left to count as returns slowly trickle in from the rest of the state.

Recent polls and political analysts have described the governor's race as closer than expected in deep blue Maryland. Both Brown and Hogan expressed confidence Tuesday they would win.

At Brown's campaign headquarters in College Park, Riggs Alumni Auditorium was buzzing with about 50 Brown supporters standing in clutches, chatting and waiting for some results.

Hogan had a nine-piece, live band entertaining the crowd at his Annapolis headquarters.

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