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Voters turn out, line up on first day of early voting in Louisiana

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Voters turned out in force at polling locations in Northwest Louisiana on the first day of early voting Friday, some lining up as much as an hour before the polls opened.

In Caddo, where there is only one polling location available in a parish of more than 230,000, some said they had been in line since 6 a.m. Another voter in line said she had been there since 7:30 a.m. She was just getting to the door of the Caddo Registrar of Voters office on Marshall Street in Shreveport by 12 p.m.

Bossier and De Soto Parish have added polling locations. Others have moved to locations that allow for compliance with social distancing guidelines. 

In Bossier, voters lined up Friday morning outside the Bossier Parish Library History Center, a secondary polling location set up for early voting in the presidential election in addition to the Bossier Parish Clerk of Court’s office at the courthouse in Benton.

There, the line seemed to move along once polls opened. Some said they were in and out in 30 minutes. But the wait became longer as the line continued to grow throughout the course of the day. Still, those who found themselves standing in line to cast their ballots appeared to be patient and willing to wait. Some of those we talked to said it was worth the wait.

As of early Friday afternoon, no major issues had been reported at any of the polling locations in NWLA.

Louisiana’s early voting period for the Nov. 3 presidential and congressional election opened Friday, with a federal judge forcing the state to add a few extra days and longer hours because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Early voting runs daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Oct. 27, except on Sundays, at parish registrar of voters’ offices and other locations. The secretary of state’s office has a complete list of early voting sites online or through its GeauxVote mobile app.

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