BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The early voting period for the 2019 Louisiana election has opened, and people from around the state have taken advantage of the opportunity to get their vote counted ahead of time.
Early voter turnout for the first day of the early voting period on Saturday, Sept. 28, was eye popping. East Baton Rouge Parish had 7,826 voters on Saturday alone, versus 20,389 for the entire week-long early voting period in 2015, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office. Statistics for the first day of early voting in 2015 were not available.
There’s a multitude of reasons for the uptick in voter turnout thus far, including an LSU Tigers football home game on Election Day. LSU plays SEC foe, the Florida Gators, this year, while they played a lesser-anticipated Western Kentucky Hilltoppers team on Election Day in 2015.
“I wanted to make sure I got my vote in. I’ll be out of town and then we’re going to the LSU game,” said Carol Daniel, an EBR voter.
9News political analyst, Jim Engster, says it’s tough to pinpoint why the voter turnout is off to a stronger start thus far, but says it could be due to the current political climate.
“Right now, the numbers are such that there’s something going on here,” Engster said. “It appears as though people are actually energized by politics and this election. Because of the Trump factor, people are more into politics now than they were before.”
Both Eddie Rispone and Governor John Bel Edwards voted early. Dr. Ralph Abraham hasn’t voted and it’s unclear whether he will vote early, or on election day.
Early voting ends Saturday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 12.