Texas' early votes exceed total cast in 2014 election

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Nearly 4.9 million people voted in Texas' 30 largest counties during the early-voting period, surpassing the total number of votes cast throughout the state in the last midterm election.

Secretary of state office data show that more than 540,000 people in those 30 counties voted early on Friday, which was the last day of early voting in the state. Although Texas has 254 counties, the 30 largest are home to nearly 80 percent of the state's residents.

In the state's much-watched Senate race, both Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and Democrat Beto O'Rourke have said strong turnout would benefit them.

The nearly 4.9 million early votes exceed the 4.7 million total votes cast in Texas in the 2014 midterm election.

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