Early Voting Begins for Sept 30 Election

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ The first votes of the campaign season are being cast today under the state's new early voting law.

Although election day isn't until September 30th, voters can go to their parish registrar of voters' office or satellite offices and cast ballots through Saturday without having to provide an excuse for voting early as they did when voting absentee. The new law went into effect January first.

On the ballot are statewide elections to replace Insurance Commissioner Robert Wooley, who resigned to practice law, and the late Secretary of State Fox McKeithen. In addition, many parishes have numerous local elections for mayors, police chiefs and school board members.

State Representative Wayne Waddell of Shreveport says he proposed the new law because he felt it was silly that people who voted absentee felt like they had to give some lame excuse for wanting to vote before Election Day.

Several registrars of voters around the state say the new early voting law might not have much effect this year because it's likely few people know about or understand it. Some who have promoted early voting say they expect a good turnout.