SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Election season has arrived in California.

County election officials began sending ballots Monday to millions of voters who registered to vote by mail.

Monday is also the day when voters can begin casting ballots in person during business hours at their county elections office, though some were closed for Columbus Day.

Just over half of all California ballots were cast early or by mail in the 2012 election.

Ballots were sent last month to members of the military and Californians who live overseas.

The California secretary of state reported last week that nearly 18.3 million people were registered to vote as of Sept. 9. Forty-five percent are Democrats, 27 percent are Republicans and 23 percent are unaffiliated.

Citizens who want to vote have until Oct. 24 to register.