Early voting draws crowds - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Early voting draws crowds

If you want to vote early now's the time. You have through Tuesday, Oct. 30, excluding Sunday, to cast your ballot before Nov. 6.

Outside the Calcasieu Registrar of Voters Office, people wait patiently for their turn to vote early.  Some want to vote because they work on the Tuesday election day.  Others just like the idea of avoiding the rush. Said voter Allen Daigle, "I didn't feel like fighting the crowd on Nov. 6."

Others find it convenient to vote early at the Calcasieu Courthouse because they work nearby. People don't seem to remember such long lines before, during early voting. "There was a longer line than I've every been in before," said voter Mollie Cooke. "Look at your ballot so that you know all those amendments that you're voting for, makes it a whole lot quicker."

The early voting started at 8:30 in the morning and there was a line even then, but the line seemed to get longer as the day went on. There's a desk set up near the line where voters can double check to make sure they are good to go before they wait in line. 

Even so, Registrar Angie Quienalty recommends voters check their status before they leave home.

"If you don't check before you leave we have a laptop at the elevator as you come on the second floor. We're looking voters up at the point, to see if they are registered and if so, see what precinct they're in. If they're not registered they're handed a red card and told to come into the office where we can look at the live computer here to tell you when you will become eligible to vote.The red card just keeps them from standing in line and not being able to vote," Quienalty said.

And they provide sample ballots so when it is time to vote, people can do so quickly since there's a three minute time limit in the booth.

"We provide you with sample ballots, a pencil to mark it. You can bring that sample ballot in there with you and you mark your ballot as you marked your sample ballot.  We have president, we have the 3rd congressional district. We have a parish wide proposition for the Burton Coliseum. We have a parish wide issue with school board term limits, Ward 1 Fire Protection District Number 1 has a tax renewal. Ward 4, Fire Protection District Number 2 has a tax renewal. The town of Vinton has a sales tax renewal and nine constitutional amendments," Quienalty said.

Calcasieu Parish has about 126,000 registered voters. Quienalty expects at least 10 percent  to vote early.

Besides the old courthouse location, Calcasieu people can early vote at the West Cal Business Center,  next to the police station in Sulphur and the Moss Bluff library -- same hours -- 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except for Sunday, through Tuesday, Oct. 30.

Voters should bring their photo identification card or driver's license.

To check your registration status click here. Or call the Calcasieu Registrar 337-437-3572 with questions.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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