A ballot that includes a gubernatorial runoff and renewal of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board millage has drawn a much higher than expected turnout for early voting, according to Pointe Coupee Parish Registrar of Voters Shanika Olinde.
A total of 1,926 Pointe Coupee Parish voters made their choices as of 3 p.m. Wednesday. A total of 567 went to the polls Saturday, another 451 on Monday and 422 on Tuesday.
“The primary was a record, but we could very well see a higher turnout for this session than we did for the primary,” Olinde said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The tally as of Wednesday represents 127 more voters than the same time during the Oct. 12 session.
Olinde said she expected a similar turnout Thursday and Friday, but she anticipates a large drop Saturday leading up to the highly anticipated college football showdown between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama.
Polls will remain open through from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday at the Pointe Coupee Parish Courthouse.
The hotly contested battle between incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards and Republican Eddie Rispone has been the catalyst for the larger-than-expected turnout.
Voter affiliation further shows the high interest in the governor’s race in Pointe Coupee. A total of 1,207 Democrats have already cast their vote, as opposed to 467 Republicans and 250 listed as “other.”
Early voting has changed the playbook for the Louisiana election process, Olinde said.
“It has made a huge difference,” she said. “We’re seeing that each election draws more and more people.’
The Nov. 16 ballot also includes a runoff for secretary of state between Republican incumbent Kyle Ardoin and Democratic opponent Gwen Collins Greenup.
Ardoin won an election last November to fill the remainder of the term for Tom Schedler, who resigned amid allegations in a sexual harassment scandal, a case which has since been settled out of court.