Long lines at Lake Charles Civic Center for last day of early voting

Last day to early vote

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With just one week away from Election Day, voters across Southwest Louisiana continue to cast their ballots early.

“It’s moving fast. Of course, I procrastinated and waited till the last day but it’s moving...the lines are moving pretty quick," said Darrin Goodwin.

It was a sense of urgency Tuesday at the Lake Charles Civic Center as locals showed up in droves to cast their ballots on the last day of early voting.

“There’s so much uncertainty right now, we’re still having some power outages and then with a hurricane somewhat brewing in the gulf," Goodwin said. "But the main topic is voting and there’s a sense of urgency to get them cast before election day.”

The latest numbers show more than 40 thousand voters in Calcasieu parish casting their ballot early. A number that Clerk of Court Lynn Jones says holds its own place in the record books.

“Yesterday we did the largest amount in the history of Calcasieu Parish in one location and that was 3,000 voters," Jones said. "We’ve been averaging about 2,400 to 2,500. The lines may seem long but they go very fast.”

As far as mail-in ballots...

“There have been about 8,000 mail-in ballot requests and we’ve received over 5,000 that’s already came back in.”

It’s a far cry from what may have been expected from a region that’s endured not one but two major storms in a 6-week timeframe.

“You know, I think we’ll break yesterday’s record...the way it’s going," Jones said "We’ve been through not only for months with COVID and then on top of that we had Laura, delta, and of course Zeta out there too. Everybody feels like we’ve been in this together. So, the overall atmosphere has been very positive.”

Election Day, however, remains a mystery in terms of turnout. Jones says the best way to put it is for voters to be prepared for the best and worst-case scenario.

“I ask voters to prepare. Make sure they’re ready to stand in line for a little while. We’re hoping it’s not like Georgia and those crazy hours but it’s going to take a little while because we’ve never done this before," said Jones. "We have a good system thought out but we won’t know until election day on how well that fairs.”

Jones says on Election Day if you know your original precinct number, that will aid in helping the lines flow quicker.

A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER:

Election day is Nov. 3

Polls open at 6 a.m.

Polls close at 8 p.m.

Absentee ballot deadlines

Request: Received by Oct. 30

Return by mail: Received by Nov. 2 by 4:30 p.m.

Return in person: Nov. 2 by 4:30 p.m.

Early voting

Oct. 16 - Oct. 27, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live

Track your ballot:

Louisiana voters can track their mal-in ballot here.

Copyright 2020 KPLC. All rights reserved.