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AUSTIN, Texas -- Hundreds of thousands of Texans opted to vote early and skip going to the polls for Tuesday's primary elections.
Early voting over the past two weeks was high compared with the last gubernatorial primary year, as measured in the 15 most populated counties by the Texas Secretary of State's Office.
A total of 491,116 early votes were cast in the 15 most populated counties, or 6 percent of the registered voters in those counties.
In 2006, when there was last a governor's race, early voting in the 15 most populated counties totaled 251,432, or 3 percent of their registered voters.
This year 62 percent of early ballots cast in those high-population centers were in the Republican primary. Gov. Rick Perry is being challenged by U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Debra Medina.