Some 236,000 people have cast their votes in advance of Tuesday’s election when the race for U.S. Senate tops the statewide ballot, state elections officials reported Wednesday.

The statewide total is almost double that of the last mid-term federal election in 2010. But it comes up far shy of the 356,603 early votes cast in advance of presidential balloting in 2012.

The populous urban areas of Orleans and East Baton Rouge topped the 64 parishes in early votes cast, with 23,149 and 22,051, respectively.

According to the Secretary of State’s Office:

-- Far more Democrats — 124,050 — voted early than Republicans — 79,700 — and those of no or other parties — 32,338.

-- Nearly two-thirds of the voters were white and a third black.

-- Women outpaced men voters by some 26,000.

Secetary of State Tom Schedler is predicting a 45 percent to 50 percent statewide voter turnout as veteran Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu faces a strong Republican challenge from U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Rob Maness.

Follow Marsha Shuler on Twitter @MarshaShulerCNB. For more coverage of the state capitol, follow Louisiana Politics at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog/.