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Early Voting Could Mean High Saturday Turnout

Editor/Consulting Writer

If the early voting totals are any indication, then polling locations across St. Landry Parish could remain active until they close on Saturday night.

Registrar of Voters Byron Stelly noted on Wednesday that 5,460 voted in-person at the Courthouse or had their mail-in ballots processed during the early voting period that ended Oct. 7.

That number of already counted reflects about 10 percent of the registered parish voters, Stelly said. That means voting has the potential to trend higher than anticipated this Saturday.

“Our early voting for this election was a little lighter than I thought it would be. I hope knowing that will bring out more people and give us a much better turnout on Saturday,” Stelly said.

The anticipated Saturday voting turnout might be affected,Stelly said, due to football games and a number of other parishwide activities that are scheduled during the day and at night.

Voting parishwide starts at 7 a.m. Saturday. Polls are scheduled to close at 8 pm.

Stelly complimented his office staff for their patience and politeness with the persons who did vote in person during the early balloting period or had questions about balloting procedures.

“This was the easiest early voting period that I have ever been associated with,” said Stelly, who has previously been employed as the St. Mary Parish registrar in addition to handling elections in Orleans Parish.

“We didn’t have too many questions or complaints during the early voting. I think that had to do with the attitude of our staff and of a more user-friendly system which included voting machines that were easy to use,” Stelly added.

ROV calculations according to Stelly indicate that 3,121 registered Democrats voted during the early period, while 1,745 were registered Republicans. Another 594 indicated that they were either voting as Independents, not affiliated with any party or were voting as Green Party or Libertarians.

On Saturday Stelly said the electorate will be able to vote at 53 polling locations where there are 92 precincts available to cast ballots.

During election hours on Saturday, Stelly and the ROV staff will be working from their Courthouse office primarily counting the absentee ballots that were received after the early voting deadline.