Voting is not over for Louisiana residents; Saturday provides an early start

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Louisiana voters who thought going to the polls was over for 2016 should think again.

"We like doing things a little differently here in Louisiana. All the excitement leading up to the presidential election, some people may have forgotten, we still have one more go in Louisiana," said FOX 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman.

The race to fill the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. David Vitter must still be decided. Republican John Kennedy and Democrat Foster are in the December 10 runoff in Louisiana.

"Think about a couple of years ago when Bill Cassidy took on Mary Landrieu. Over $10 million dollars that were spent after that general election day, and that final month of the campaign. We're seeing nothing like that right now in Louisiana, no big ad spending, but this is a very important seat," said Sherman.

Early voting begins Saturday across the state. But it is not expected to attract the droves of people who voted early for the November 8 election.

"We don't anticipate, you know, long lines like we saw for the presidential," said Dennis DiMarco, registrar for Jefferson Parish.

"Our high water mark for elections is always the presidential election followed by gubernatorial election. One month after those, these runoff elections, particularly the December runoffs we see a huge drop-off in turnout," said Sherman.

In Jefferson Parish, voters will also decide the fate of four proposed tax renewals, including one for drainage, recreational activities, a school board millage and a sales tax.

"Again, emphasizing they're all millage renewals. So there's enough to bring out people. But you're not going to see nearly the turnout we saw for the presidential," DiMarco stated.

"Some of the elections in December will affect people's lives on a daily basis. In Kenner you're electing a new mayor and in Jefferson Parish for example, flood protection and recreation are on the ballot. Huge impact if those millages don't pass," said Sherman.

It is hoped that voters will carve out time to head to the polls next month even though it is the holiday season.

"Every election is important and I think if people would spend 10, 15 minutes going to the polls, you know, I think they would feel good about themselves," said DiMarco.

"Crazy things happen in December runoff elections. Think back to when Joe Cao became the first Vietnamese American elected to congress as a Republican in the 2nd congressional district which is hugely Democratic over Bill Jefferson not that many years ago," Sherman stated.

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