Southwest Louisiana early voter turnout breaks record

Updated: Oct. 7, 2019 at 7:32 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Early voting numbers for the October 12 open primary are in and the number of voters in Southwest Louisiana that took advantage of hitting the polls early set a new record.

“This race here, it’s got a lot of people talking and getting out.. they want their votes to count,” said Kim Fontenot, Calcasieu Registrar of Voters.

374,208 Louisiana voters decided to cast their ballots early in the gubernatorial primary. Early voting numbers broke records across the state, surpassing the 2015 gubernatorial election by almost double. In 2015, 234,722 voters cast their ballots early in the gubernatorial primary.

Registrar of Voters for Calcasieu Parish, Kim Fontenot said the numbers show that polling places stayed busy and that a lot of people, especially in Southwest Louisiana are interested in this election.

“We broke our record, 4 years ago it was over 7,000. It was a great turnout, we had about 8%. With all 3 offices, in person, we had over 10,000 people that came in and voted," said Fontenot.

Fontenot said depending on the election, voter turnout can sometimes waiver. However, early voting across the state, especially in the lake area, is growing in popularity.

“I mean we’ve never seen this much interest in politics. I can’t tell you when... I would have to say the last presidential election, of course.”

We looked at the numbers for early voting in Calcasieu Parish and found that out of 11,810 voters, female and republican voters are leading the charge.

Fontenot said there are a lot of factors that can be taken into account for the high early turnout--The race for governor being one of the biggest items on the ballot holds a lot of weight.

Overall she says the stakes in this election are high and so far it shows where it counts the most.

The Secretary of State’s website includes early voting statistics going back to 2008, broken down by age, party, parish and other factors. If you’d like to look at the data, click here .

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