Early voting up in Webster Parish

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Webster Parish voters increased early voting by approximately 66 percent over the last presidential election.

The turnout for early voting for the 2016 presidential election was 5,030, while the 2012 presidential election saw 3,364 early voters.

Of the 5,030 ballots cast, 3,707 of voters were white voters and 1,727 were black voters, with 54 voters identifying as other. Males fell behind women casting 2,269 votes and 3,219 votes respectively. Registered Democrats cast 2,536 ballots, Republicans cast 2,111, and 841 voters identified as other party.

Like Webster Parish, statewide early voting in Louisiana also saw an increase in participation.

Record numbers were recorded according to data released Wednesday that surprised state officials, who had worried the animosity of the presidential race could cause a voting slump.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler said voters’ anger about the presidential candidates, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, instead seems to be driving people to the polls in Louisiana.

“The numbers are staggering,” he said.

More than 515,000 voters cast their ballots early in Louisiana’s weeklong early voting period that ended Tuesday – 17 percent of the state’s 3 million registered voters. By comparison, nearly 357,000 people early voted for the presidential election four years ago and 292,000 people cast early ballots in the election eight years ago.

Schedler is predicting statewide voter turnout on Election Day that could top the 68 percent level of the 2012 presidential election and reach as high as 70 percent.

“We went into this election with, ‘Well, is anybody going to even show up?’ We just didn’t have a feel for it, because you heard so many people frustrated with both candidates,” he said. “But we ended up with lines behind lines behind lines of people.”

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