(CNN) - Most of the Republican candidates may be focused on Michigan, which votes Tuesday, but voters in another key state headed to the polls this morning.
Florida’s official primary date is January 29, but early voting in the presidential primary starts today – and this morning, 37 locations across Central Florida opened for voting.
Voting has already started outside the polls in Florida. More than 206,000 Republicans, 163,000 Democrats and 52,000 unaffiliated voters who don't have party affiliation have asked for absentee ballots, along with. In comparison, fewer than 94,000 Democrats cast absentee ballots in 2004, when there was no Republican primary.
Early voting ends Sunday, January 27, although some counties will end it on Saturday, January 26.
Penalties from the national parties for Florida’s decision to hold its primaries early in the cycle mean that few White House hopefuls have spent time campaigning in the state. (One exception is Rudy Giuliani, who has wagered his candidacy on a strong showing in Florida, and is spending the day campaigning in the state.)
Florida’s delegate count has been halved by the national Republican Party, and eliminated completely by the Democrats, though many in the state expect it to be restored to full strength before the national party conventions this summer.
- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand