Early voting begins, prepare for long lines and big crowds - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Early voting begins, prepare for long lines and big crowds

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Voters should expect long lines as early voting begins Tuesday morning in Louisiana.

Local and state election officials say they're prepared for big crowds, and they urge voters to plan ahead and be patient.

For the first time in the state's history, there are more than 3 million registered voters in Louisiana – 40,000 new voters just registered this month.

There's high interest in the presidential race, but there's also the U.S. Senate seat up for grabs, half-dozen constitutional amendments and lots of local races around the state.

In Jefferson Parish, the registrar of voters said he's expecting long lines based on the number of ballots his office mailed out this time around - double the number mailed out for the last presidential election.

Dennis Demarco said to keep in mind that early voting runs through Nov. 1, and there is only one Saturday available for people to vote early.

"We expect record crowds,” Demarco said. “We have three offices. We are prepared as we can be. We will here early in the morning and late at night. We're gonna try to get people through as quickly as we can, but again, people should expect a delay."

"Traditionally, the presidential election is our highest, with voter participation just south of 70 percent,” said Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler. “I'm certainly hoping we can reach that, but this one has been harder to predict for a bunch of different reasons."

Election Day is Nov. 8. For early voting, the polls open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. tomorrow through next Tuesday, except for Sunday.

Sample ballots, polling locations, districts and more can be found at the Louisiana Secretary of State's Voter Portal.

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