Early voting numbers are higher for the Oct. 24 gubernatorial election than they were in 2011, says Webster Parish Registrar of Voters Melanie Smith.
“The early voting numbers are better than the 2011 early voting numbers,” she said.
As of the close of early voting Saturday, a total of 1,702 cast their ballots before Election Day. That number breaks down to 1,478 cast their ballots in person and 224 mailed in their votes, Smith said.
During the 2011 gubernatorial election, only 1,116 cast their ballots early in person with 140 ballots mailed in.
The Advocate reports about 14,000 fewer voters participated in early voting. When early voting ended, 222,162 of Louisiana’s 2.89 million voters, or 7.6 percent, cast their ballots by Saturday.
Secretary of state Tom Schedler predicts voter turnout will be between 45 to 50 percent on Oct. 24.
He fears it could go lower because of a huge undecided vote showing up in political polling, he says, as high as 30 percent in some elections.
“It’s the biggest wildcard,” he said, adding, many of those people may just not cast a ballot.
“If that happens, you will have a huge fall off,” he added.
Interest appears to be higher in smaller parishes where local races are “fueling activity.”
Fifteen percent or more of the voters already cast ballots in those parishes with Plaquemines Parish leading the way with 25 percent.
East Baton Rouge Parish topped the list with the highest number of early votes cast at 19,195, or 6.8 percent of the parish’s voters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.