First day of early voting sees largest turnout in Louisiana history

Early voter turn out this year highest in Louisiana History

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The first day of early voting saw the largest turnout in Louisiana history since early voting began in 2008. Voters in New Orleans spent another day waiting in long lines but say they’re not surprised by the large crowds.

“I like to early vote because I don’t like to do it on the day of because it’s crowded. Now in times past if I had to do it on quote-unquote election day I would, but this is a different day right now as you know with what’s going on in the country, so many people are coming out in droves,” said voter Sharon Steward.

After day one of early voting saw a record-breaking 174,533 votes cast in Louisiana, people who lined up at New Orleans City Hall for day two say they weren’t sure what to expect.

“I really am surprised I mean I’ve seen the lines on television, but I was really surprised by City Hall’s lines,” said voter Janice Carter.

There was some frustration, but overall, doing their civic duty is worth the wait.

“My daughter said she’s not going to vote at all a few days, but she would normally vote, she said well my vote doesn’t matter anyway. I said well your vote do matter, whether you believe it or not.”

“Their vote matters and they should understand why they’re voting and what they’re voting for. when you have that next generation of children and grandchildren, it makes a difference,” said voter Sharon Stewart.

The city also opened up the Smoothie King Center as a polling place where people say the COVID-19 safety precautions were evident with plenty of hand sanitizer, face coverings and social distancing.

Nearly 14,000 Orleans Parish residents voted early on day one alone. Statewide, the number shattered the previous day one record for Louisiana, set last year during the runoff election for the governor’s seat and before that, the 2016 presidential election.

Voters say it’s a sign that no matter who you’re casting a ballot for, the people are paying attention.

“The country is in chaos right now and you should vote according to the knowledge that you have based on the candidates that’s running, and if you don’t vote then you don’t have a voice. don’t fuss about nothing, don’t cuss about nothing,” Stewart said.

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