Calcasieu voter turnout up nearly 10 percent from 2015 gubernatorial race, still behind the rest of the state

Calcasieu voter turnout

CALCASIEU, La. (KPLC) - As the dust has now settled from Saturday’s runoff election, a look at overall voter turnout has come into a clearer view.

The stakes were high in Saturday’s election, not only were there major runoffs on the ballot, but election officials hoped to beat the numbers seen in early voting.

Calcasieu Clerk of Court Lynn Jones says overall the state saw more voters at the polls.

“Statewide the turnout was above 50% and the question was ‘how’d Calcasieu do?’...well, we’d kinda fallen behind," said Jones.

Out of 64 parishes, Calcasieu came in second to last in terms of voter turnout with just a little over 44 percent.

Parishes with lowest overall voter turnout:

1. St. Bernard- 39.7%

2. Calcasieu- 44.1%

3. Vernon- 44.7%

4. Washington- 46.3%

5. Morehouse- 46. 8%

Parishes with highest overall voter turnout:

1. LaSalle- 66.4%

2. West Baton Rouge- 66.1 %

3. Catahoula- 63.7%

4. West Feliciana- 63.2%

5. Point Coupee- 62.9%

“I’ve been trying to figure out why cause normally Calcasieu is right up there with the top parishes...The only thing I can think of is we have a lot of temporary workers from out of state," said Jones. "Sometimes they may come in, get a driver’s license from Louisiana and register to vote but they don’t really have any history with the state and they just register to vote but don’t intend on voting.”

While that 44 percent may be low compared to other parishes, it’s quite the improvement since the last governor’s runoff where only about 35 percent showed up at the polls.

“Historically, it was always said however Calcasieu votes, that’s how the Governor’s election is going to go.”

Calcasieu’s voting has echoed the statewide consensus as to who would win Governor’s seat, but in this election that was not the case.

“I think only one time in modern history that Calcasieu did not pick the governor and now it’s twice because John Bel Edwards did not carry Calcasieu this time."

Jones said overall there is a higher trend of participation but there is still more work to be done.

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