Early voting numbers reach new heights

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Secretary of State's office said there was a hugely successful early voting period.

Officials said more Louisiana voters cast their ballots early in this election than any non-presidential election in state history.

"Early voting is gaining popularity as we go," said John Russell, Tangipahoa Parish registrar of voters.

Statewide, the number of early voters was up 12 percent over the gubernatorial primary four years ago. Tangipahoa Parish saw a 45 percent rise.

"We're just passionate about our politics," Russell added.

Tangipahoa ranked third among all Louisiana parishes with 6,121 people voting early. That's more than eight percent of voters in that parish.

East Baton Rouge Parish led the way with 9,256 early voters, which is 3.4 percent of the parish's total registered voters. St. Tammany was second with 6,846 early voters, or 6.4 percent of the parish's total registered voters.

The driving force behind the large numbers in Tangipahoa is a hotly contested race for parish president, where 25-year incumbent Gordon Burgess is facing Carlos Notariano, a Tangipahoa Parish councilman.

Voter turnout statewide is expected to be between 40 percent and 45 percent.

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