RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The number of absentee ballots cast in Virginia has surpassed those cast by election eve four years ago.

     Figures provided by the State Board of Elections show absentee voting after Saturday’s final day to vote cast absentee ballots is up by 2.6 percent, from 417,251 in 2008 to 427,944 received as of Monday.

     More ballots are likely to trickle in by mail before polls close at 7:00 tonight (Tuesday).

     Proportionately, the 88 Republican-voting localities in the 2008 presidential race were up 5.8 percent as of Monday, from 157,005 total absentees in 2008 to 166,128.

     But 61 percent of the nearly 428,000 absentee ballots received by Monday were from localities that supported Obama in 2008. Obama got two-thirds of the 506,672 absentee ballots in 2008.