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More than 1.1 million Nevadans cast ballots ahead of Tuesday

FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2020 file photo people wait in line to vote at a polling place on the final day of early voting in Las Vegas. More than 1.1 million Nevadans have already cast ballots ahead of Tuesday's election, where the state will be a presidential battleground, two incumbent Democratic members of Congress will try to hold on to their seats and voters will settle dozens of races for statewide, legislative and judicial offices and five statewide ballot questions. (AP Photo/John Locher,File)

By MICHELLE L. PRICE Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — More than 1.1 million people in Nevada have already cast ballots in the presidential battleground state where two incumbent Democratic will try to hold on to their seats in the U.S. House and voters will decide dozens of races for statewide, legislative and judicial offices along with five statewide ballot questions.

A Republican presidential candidate has not carried Nevada since 2004, and the state has also largely favored Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate and House during the two most recent election cycles.

Polls have shown Joe Biden with a slight lead even though the state has been one of President Donald Trump’s top targets to flip this year.

Nevada mailed ballots to all active registered voters because of the coronavirus pandemic and also had two weeks of early in-person voting. As of Monday morning, Democrats had cast 40% of the ballots so far while Republicans accounted for 36%. Unaffiliated and third-party voters made up another 25% of ballots.

The early voting came as Republicans cut in slightly to Democrats’ voter registration edge. New numbers released by Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske on Monday showed Democrats’ lead over Republicans among active registered voters shrank to 4 percentage points in October from a 6 point-lead in September.

Democrats now make up 37% of voters while Republicans are 33%. The share of nonpartisan voters grew slightly as well, to 24% up from 23%.

Along with the presidential race, other top of the ticket battles in the state include races for four U.S. House seats. Two seats, held by Democrat Dina Titus in Las Vegas and Republican Mark Amodei in northern Nevada, are considered safe for the incumbents. The other two races have Republicans looking to unseat southern Nevada Democrats.

The closest battle is in southern Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, where freshman Democratic Rep. Susie Lee is seeking to hold on against a challenge from Republican and former professional wrestler Dan Rodimer.

In Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford is running for re-election against Republican former state lawmaker Jim Marchant.

In the Legislature, Democrats are hoping to extend their majorities, especially in the state Senate, where they are one seat shy of a veto-proof supermajority.

They’re looking to pick up a Reno-area seat held by Republican Heidi Gansert, representing a district that the GOP has held for a decade but where Democrats have recently edged out Republicans among registered voters.

Democrats are also trying to stave off strong GOP challenges to two southern Nevada seats held by Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro and term-limited Joyce Woodhouse.

Cannizzaro flipped the Las Vegas seat in 2016 by a slim margin, and Republican April Becker is trying to swing it back to the GOP, which has poured money in the contest.

Republican Carrie Buck narrowly lost to Woodhouse in 2016 and is seeking the Henderson seat again this year. She’s facing Democrat Kristee Watson in the contest to replace Woodhouse.

Voters also will decide two statewide Supreme Court seats, one state Court of Appeals seat, four positions on the state Board of Regents and two State Board of Education spots.

Voters are being asked to consider five statewide ballot questions, including one that would repeal a same sex-marriage ban from the state’s constitution. It’s the first time voters in a state have been asked to consider repealing such a ban in the five years since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the marriages nationwide.

Other questions include a proposal to remove Board of Regents’ oversight of state colleges and universities from the state constitution and give the Legislature more authority over higher education. Another measure would amend the Nevada constitution to require electric utilities to rely on at least 50% renewable sources by 2030.

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Find AP’s full election coverage at APNews.com/Election2020.