Thousands of Florida voters have already cast mail-in ballots in presidential primaries

More than 500,000 Floridians, or about a quarter of the 2.07 million who have requested mail-in ballots, have already cast votes in the March 17 presidential primary elections, according to numbers posted midday Friday by the state Division of Elections.

With four Republicans on the ballot, including President Donald Trump, GOP voters had returned 325,607 of 964,327 requested ballots.

Democrats, with a larger field, had seen 183,538 ballots cast from 1.06 million requested ballots, as some party officials have advised people against voting too early. There are 16 Democrats on the ballot, including several who have suspended their campaigns since qualifying.

Another 6,760 ballots had been cast by people without a party affiliation or who are registered with a third party.

More than 20 counties have other issues before voters, such as Lee County, which has elections in Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Springs, and Broward County, which has elections in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Lighthouse Point, Pembroke Pines and Pompano Beach.