Thousands of Arkansas voters have begun casting their ballots early in a closely watched midterm election highlighted by an expensive U.S. Senate race that could determine which party controls that chamber next year.
Secretary of State Mark Martin's office said 21,094 people had cast a ballot by late afternoon Monday, the first day of early voting for the Nov. 4 election. Martin has predicted 51 percent of the state's nearly 1.7 million registered voters will vote in this year's election.
Republican and Democratic party leaders say urging Arkansans to cast their ballots early is key to their get out the vote strategies for the election.
The election features Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor's heated fight for a third term against Republican challenger and U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton.