More than 220,000 people already have voted in advance of Saturday’s statewide U.S. Senate election.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler is predicting a 40 percent turnout on election day as voters decide between veteran Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and challenger Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Election statistics released Monday revealed brisk activity in an early voting period even though it was cut from seven to five days because of two official state holidays. In all, 221,221 people voted early.

East Baton Rouge voters topped the 64 parishes with 21,162 participants, followed by Orleans Parish with 18,234. St. Tammany wasn’t far behind with 17,176, then Jefferson with 13,362.

Besides the Senate race, there are two congressional runoffs — one in the Baton Rouge-based 6th District and the other in the sprawling 5th District, which starts in the Monroe area and wanders south.

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