Romney, Paul Get A Jump On Fla. Absentee Voters

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida presidential primary is on.

Voting is already well under way even though Florida doesn't hold its GOP nominating contest until Jan. 31. And both Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are aggressively reaching out to voters who have requested ballots.

None of their competitors has been nearly as active even though the victor in Florida would get a huge boost of momentum and all of the state's 50 delegates to the national nominating convention.

As of Tuesday, 424,000 Republican absentee ballots have been mailed - to military personnel, overseas residents and other Floridians - and about 84,000 have been returned in a state that has 4 million registered Republican voters.

Republican insiders expect as many as a third of the GOP ballots in Florida to be cast early.