Early voters pack polls in Central Fla.

Number of active Fla. voters has grown 6 percent

ORLANDO, Fla. - Voters are forming lines at polling locations on the first day of early voting in Florida, the biggest presidential swing state.

This year's early voting period is shorter than in previous elections. The state legislature reduced the period from 14 days to 8 this year. Voting rights groups concerned about problems with access unsuccessfully challenged the reduced time frame in the courts.

According officials, more than 1.1 million Floridians have already cast ballots through mail-in absentee voting.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney is in Florida to help to kick-off his party's early voting efforts. On Saturday, Sen. Marco Rubio and Connie Mack

President Barack Obama is expected in the state Monday.

Groups on both sides of the political spectrum are organizing early voting drives in hopes of getting their supporters to the polls.

Florida has nearly 12 million voters who will be eligible to vote in the crucial presidential election.

State officials Saturday released new voter registration numbers that show that the number of active voters has grown 6 percent to a total of 11.94 million.

President Barack Obama carried Florida in 2008, but he is locked in a very tight race with GOP rival Mitt Romney in the swing state that could decide the election.

The new registration numbers show the gap between Republicans and Democrats is smaller than it was in 2008. There are nearly 536,000 more Democrats than Republicans. There are 4.78 million Democrats and 4.24 million Republicans.

The number of voters not affiliated with any party, however, grew at a substantially faster rate than either major party.

If you head to the polls, a a valid photo identification and a signature identification is required.

To see a full list of early voting locations in Central Florida, click here.

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