Local voters anxious for election day to arrive

Local voters anxious for election day to arrive

It's hard to turn on a television without seeing biting campaign ads, and many voters are ready for this election season to end.

On Saturday, voters across Louisiana will decide the hotly contested U.S. Senate race between incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, and Congressman Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge.

"Glad to see, in a way now that it's coming to an end just to see some of those TV ads, you know?" said voter Perry Cortez.

"The rivalry has become very extensive, I see this time, but yes, I'm looking forward to getting out tomorrow to vote, so we can see what's the outcome," said voter Sacondra Stewart-Ric.

And it's not just television campaign ads that voters will be relieved to have end.

"I'll be glad when the mail stops, too, with all the pamphlets and everything," said voter Brenda Vallery.

UNO Political Scientist Ed Chervenak agreed that voters have been flooded with campaign messages, especially because of the Senate race.

"I think voters are exhausted that we've been inundated with all kinds of campaign ads, a large number from outside groups, many of them very negative," Chervenak said.

In Jefferson Parish, Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer, who oversees the election process, expects turnout to be in the low 40s.

"It'll be a driver, the Senate race, which will be why the turnout will be as high as I think - in Jefferson, at any rate," said Gegenheimer.

His counterpart in New Orleans said the fact that the election is on the weekend makes a turnout prediction harder. The primary election was on a Tuesday.

"You expect more to come out on a Saturday than a Tuesday, so it's hard to gauge this," said Morrell.

In Orleans Parish, Registrar Sandra Wilson said 17, 098 people voted early in person. That is down from the 21, 624 who voted early in person for the November primary.

"People have already made up their minds, they just have to really come out and vote," said Morrell.

In Jefferson Parish, in-person early voting for Saturday's election was 11, 911, compared to 12, 726 for the primary a month ago.

The Secretary of State's office said the early voting total for the general election is close to 232,000 compared to the more than 245,000 people who cast ballots early in November.

Chervenak said that does not bode well for Landrieu.

"The early voting numbers do not look good for the democratic incumbent, we see that early voting is down overall compared to the primary election, the only group where we see early voting is up is among republicans," he said.

In some parishes, a slew of local races and issues are also on the ballot.

"Even though people may be turned off by the senate election they still need to show up and cast a vote for those local issues," said Chervenak.

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