SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Voters in Shreveport and Bossier City lined up on the last day of early voting in Louisiana, ensuring that the already record-breaking turnout will only rise even higher by the time the final tally is counted.
As of Monday, the ninth day of early voting, 860,840 ballots had been cast statewide. That’s already 329,285 more early votes than the 531,555 cast in the 2016 presidential election in Louisiana. Early voting in Bossier Parish has already more than doubled the ballots cast four years ago, with 24,730 by Monday compared to a total of 12,077. Caddo voters have already cast 26,198 early ballots this time around, compared to 16,282 in 2016.
Lines at the Downtown Shreveport and Bossier early voting locations were wrapped around the buildings all day, but many said it only took them 20 to 40 minutes to actually get through the line.
It was worth the wait for Shreveport voter Roshanda Spears.
“It’s important for this entire country. Not just this one, but any one election. You know, our ancestors died to be here so that we can vote. So anyone who is not voting needs to get out and rock their vote.”
“It’s an election that can change this country for the good or for the bad so everyone needs to vote,” said Bossier voter Greg Tilley.
Early voting was extended by three days to ten for the November 3 election under an order by a U.S. District Court judge in a federal suit filed over the state’s original and more restrictive emergency election plan proposed and approved by the Legislature for elections in November and December in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“To keep social distancing, to give people more time,” said Bossier Parish Registrar Voters, Stephanie Agee. “So, obviously, we’ve had a wonderful turnout and I think that the turnout indicates that people are taking advantage of the ten days. They’re scared about the long lines at the precincts (on Election Day).”
Bossier voter Ashley Sanders says she adjusted her personal schedule to ensure her vote is counted.
“I’ve got my daughter here. Checked her out of school. She’s interested in it. And I want her to know how important it is for the people to have a voice,” said Sanders.
“It’s just the cost of doing what needs to be done and the sacrifice of my schedule to vote,” said Shreveport voter Gina Dempsey.
Agee says Bossier voters will also have a curb-side absentee ballot drop-off opportunity starting Wednesday, October 28 and continuing through Friday in the parking lot of the Bossier Parish Courthouse from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“They can actually drive up there. We’ll actually get them to show ID. They would need ID and if they’re turning in for someone else, they would need to show ID and fill a form out. But, I’m providing this service because people have indicated that they’re worried about the mail,” said Agee.
If you miss any of the early voting data opportunities and didn’t request an absentee ballot, your last chance to vote is on November 3, 2020, from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Check with your local election office for precinct information.