barack-obama-3_web.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Florida has nearly 12 million voters who will be eligible to vote in the crucial presidential election.

State officials early Saturday released new voter registration numbers that show that the number of active voters has grown 6 percent to a total of 11.94 million.

President Barack Obama carried Florida in 2008, but he is locked in a very tight race with GOP rival Mitt Romney in the swing state that could decide the election.

The new registration numbers show the gap between Republicans and Democrats is smaller than it was in 2008. There are nearly 536,000 more Democrats than Republicans. There are 4.78 million Democrats and 4.24 million Republicans.

The number of voters not affiliated with any party, however, grew at a substantially faster rate than either major party.