21,130 voters in Santa Fe County cast ballots in early, in-person voting sites, county Elections Director Denise Lamb told me.
That's up from the 13,625 who voted early and in person in Santa Fe County in 2006, the last time there was a gubernatorial election.
The reason for the increase is obvious: In 2006 Gov. Bill Richardson cruised to re-election over under-funded opponent John Dendahl. This year the governor's race between Susana Martinez and Diane Denish has been hotly contested.
The county doesn't break down the early vote according to political party. A big turnout in this county though probably is some good news for Democrats, who account for 64 percent of the total registered voters.
As far as absentee votes go, Lamb said the county has not yet finished counting. The county mailed out about 8,200 ballots and has received at least 6,000 of those. Absentee votes will be slightly down from 2006, however, as Lamb said about 9,600 absentee ballots were cast that year.