State election officials say over half a million Iowans may cast their votes — before Election Day. At the close of business on Saturday, county auditors had received over 481,000 absentee ballots. That is 20,000 more than were cast in Iowa back in 2004 — the last presidential election. Iowans who still want to vote early have two options.

They can walk into their county auditor’s office today (Monday) and vote. Some Iowans, though, requested an absentee ballot through the mail. Those absentee ballots must be returned in the envelope provided — and be mailed today, November 3rd.

Early voting totals went up about 30,000 from Friday to Saturday. With one more day of early voting, thousands more absentee ballots may be cast, pushing the total for Iowa above half a million. Secretary of State Michael Mauro estimates about one-third of the votes cast in Iowa for this general election will be these so-called "early" votes.

Despite all this talk about early voting, the state’s top election official — Secretary of State Michael Mauro — is waiting ’til Tuesday to cast his ballot. "I haven’t voted yet. I am not one of the early voters. I will probably take my time and go to my polling place on Election Day," Mauro says. "I kind of enjoy doing that and will continue to do it this year." For Iowans who have not registered to vote, Iowa law has changed.

You may register at your polling place tomorrow, on Election Day. But state election officials say over 95% of Iowans who are eligible to vote already have registered to do so. There are more than two-million registered voters in Iowa — that’s an all-time record. You can find the location of your polling place on-line, on the Secretary of State’s website .

AUDIO: Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson reports on early voting. 1:37 MP3