Experts expecting low voter turnout in upcoming Election

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – We’re a little more than 2 weeks away from Election Day with Early Voting starting tomorrow here in Louisiana.

Some of the big items on the November 6th ballot include the Third Congressional District Race, Mayors, Police Chiefs, various propositions, as well as constitutional amendments.
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, the early voting period runs from October 23-30.
During this time, all Registrar of Voters Office’s in Louisiana will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., except for October 28.
But some experts are expecting a very low voter turnout for the Early Voting period and on Election Day here in Acadiana and across the state.
“Each municipality votes on a different ballot, and then all the amendments and props, the whole Parish votes on it,” said Charlene Menard, the Registrar of Voters in Lafayette Parish.
At the Registrar of Voters Office, they’re gearing up for their their usual frenzy of early voters.
“Some voters have been coming in trying to vote since last week,” said Menard.
But besides the big Third Congressional Race and numerous amendments on the ballot, Menard says most people have asked her about….
“Taxes, a lot is taxes. They would like a lot more explanation on that, so we’ll guide them to go to the website, the Secretary of State’s Office,” said Menard.
“There’s just Congress this year and frankly the elections aren’t that competitive, so frankly voter turnout is going to be low,” said Dr. Pearson Cross with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Political Science Department.
He believes there will be low voter turnout for both early voting and on Election Day, because there’s no big state elections besides Congress and the Secretary of State’s Office.
“We’re not one of those states where there’s a huge turnout to either oppose or support Donald Trump. If we were, our turnout would be higher, but it’s not going to be. So I would say turnout is going to be around 35%,” said Pearson.
And he’s got a point on the turnout…
For the election on 11/04/2014, the big race was in the Senate between Bill Cassidy and Mary Landrieu.
– In Lafayette Parish 7592 people voted early.
– 3655 in Iberia Parish.
– 2603 in Vermilion Parish.
– An overall of 245,609 voted early in the entire state of Louisiana.
But for the 11/08/2016 election, there was a ton on the ballot:
– Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton for the Presidency.
– Big Senate race between John Kennedy and Foster Campbell.
– For Congress, here in the third district, Clay Higgins won his race.
– 18,913 early voted early in Lafayette Parish.
– With a total of 531,555 people who early voted in Louisiana.
But with 6 constitutional amendments on the ballot, Cross still believes that this is a crucial election.
As for others on whether they intend to vote early or on Election Day, it’s a mixed bag…
“Election day because it just feels right,” said Sydney Avie, a Lafayette Parish voter.
“I’ve never voted really at all. Just not that into politics,” said Joseph Milliman, but he says he will vote in the upcoming election.
“It’s always important. I mean everybody’s got their own things that are important to them, because I’ll take them all in and weigh them out, and I’ll see what matters the most,” said Shannon Wallace.
Officials say voters will be asked for a photo ID or signature on a voter affidavit.
You can also use a driver’s license, a Louisiana special ID, or some other general recognized picture ID that has your name and signature.
For more info, click this link.
Residents in Acadiana normally go to their Parish Registrar of Voters Offices or the courthouse to vote early.
However, there are other locations where people can mark their ballots.
Eunice residents can go to City Hall. 
Meanwhile, St. Martin Parish folks can early vote at the St. Martin Parish Courthouse Annex, the St. Marin Parish Water District #1 building, or the Sydnie Mae Durand Senior Citizen Center.
The Courthouse Annex building will be open for St. Mary Parish residents as well.
To find out where you can Vote Early for the upcoming elections, visit this link.

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