Political analyst believes lack of enthusiasm in governor’s race could cause low early voting numbers

Early voting is officially underway ahead of the gubernatorial election on October 14.
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 10:30 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Early voting is officially underway ahead of the gubernatorial election on October 14.

We’re starting to get a glimpse as to who is exactly heading to the polls before election day.

And one political analyst believes that even with the governor on the ballot, enthusiasm this election cycle is at an all-time low.

“It’s been pretty steady, all day Saturday and today. Not quite as busy as the governor’s election in 2019, but still, a healthy turnout,” said Steve Raborn, Registrar of Voters in East Baton Rouge Parish.

The race for governor is the prime option on your ballot, but there are also a lot of amendments and other local races you need to know about.

“It’s a great idea to review your ballot,” said Raborn.

With Southern’s homecoming and LSU playing in Tiger Stadium next Saturday, officials are urging you to at least consider early voting before election day this year.

But are people actually turning out at the polls?

“Overall, we don’t seem to be seeing quite as much excitement, we haven’t been receiving many phone calls, we didn’t really see any kind of registration surge before the election, but we do expect a fairly healthy turnout,” said Raborn.

The Secretary of State’s Office has not released the total votes cast after Monday, October 2. However, Saturday’s (September 30) early voting numbers give people a pretty good glimpse.

According to statistics from the Secretary of State:

Statewide - 81,538 votes have been cast (early and absentee)

Democrats - 36,328 votes

Republicans - 33,649 votes

Other party - 11,561

Breakdown by race:

White - 57,489 votes

Black - 21,908 votes

Other - 2,141 votes

“I think it’s too early. I think by tomorrow night we’ll have a better handle on, A, what the turnout is going to look like, I still think it will be in the 40′s total. And it will also give us an idea of which party is best turning out their vote,” said Roy Fletcher, a political consultant.

Fletcher says most polls show most voters believe the state is headed in the wrong direction.

“And they’re not happy about it, and I don’t know that they know what to do about it. And if they don’t know what to do about it, the best thing, maybe the way they see it is, maybe I do nothing, see what happens,” he said.

He says it’s unusual to see such low enthusiasm with a new governor on the ballot.

And he doesn’t expect any real surprises heading into election day in less than two weeks.

“I can’t say I’ve ever seen any interest this low in a governor’s race. I cannot, I cannot fathom what’s happened. But just, this race is literally unlike any other race in terms of the interest in the race,” said Fletcher.

Early voting will run through Oct. 7 from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Find more information by clicking here.

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