Voting brisk in Calcasieu; Lines at some precincts - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Voting brisk in Calcasieu; Lines at some precincts

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CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

It's a busy election day throughout  America including Southwest Louisiana. If you haven't voted you have a little less than two hours to do so.

Voters are turning out in great numbers and officials are hoping there will be a 70 percent turnout in our area -- when it's all said and done. This morning, at Lake Charles Boston, at one point officials say they were voting one a minute.  

Billie Buck is the Commissioner in Charge of one of the precincts here.

"When we got here this morning we had a line around the corner. In fact, before we could get the  machines set up, we had people waiting to vote. So, they were anxious. They were here early this morning. And it was pretty steady,"said Buck.

Voters who came early say it was a good, hassle free experience. Said voter Ann Budwine."It's been a good day so far. I came in. There was no long line. It didn't take me long at all."

Voter Lenoria Ambrose agreed.

"The weather's beautiful today, so it's a good day for you to come out. And the lines weren't long," she said.

The same went for Leonard Withreaux.

"I was expecting possibly several minutes standing in line but very fast," Withreaux said. 

And they remind others to vote. "It's a privilege for us to be able to vote, to cast our votes and everybody should come out and cast their vote. Vote for who your favorite candidate is," said Ambrose. 

Said Withreaux, "Well, if you don't get out and vote, you can't gripe."

It wouldn't be such a long ballot except for nine constitutional amendments, and you don't want to wait until you get into the voting booth to start reading them. Voters are advised to study them ahead of time, decide how to vote and maybe even make yourself a little cheat sheet in order to be able to quickly cast their ballots.

Clerk of Court Lynn Jones says as long as voters are in line by 8 p.m. they can cast their ballot.

"If you are in line at 8 o'clock, and we will have a commissioner stand at the end of the line, nobody else will be able to come behind that last person, that last person, no matter how long it takes, will get to vote tonight," said Jones.

But, as the afternoon drew on, the lines seemed to be getting longer, especially at some of the larger precincts such as Positive Connection on Weaver road. Some voters were waiting up to 45 minutes to make their vote count. And as it got closer to 7 p.m., voters at some precincts in south Lake Charles estimated they would have to wait as long as an hour to vote.

Assistant D.A. Bob Kleinschmidt said it's been slow as far as complaints about electioneering.
 There was a complaint about a survey being taken at Precinct 366 at St. John Elementary school.

However, officials verified it's an exit poll approved by the Secretary of State at that single precinct.

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