The first day of early voting indicates the Louisiana electorate is not interested in the December 8th run-off election, or at least a large percentage of registered voters.
John Couvillon with JMC Analytics and Polling says Saturday was the lowest first day of early voting turnout ever in Louisiana.
“In fact, ever since JMC started tracking early voting in 2008, this is the lowest first day early voting turnout EVER, with 14,811 voting (12,444 were in person, and 2,367 were mail in ballots). For comparison’s sake, the next lowest first day turnout was 16,357, which occurred during last year’s Treasurer’s runoff,” Couvillon wrote in his research.
It appears that the December election, which features the Secretary of State’s race, a number of local races, and tax proposals, is just not exciting voters in Louisiana.
But don’t beat yourselves up too badly for the apparent voter apathy.
The first day of early voting is just one day of seven, and the election had a lot of competition.
On November 24th, Thanksgiving day leftovers were still in the refrigerators of Louisianans, and Black Friday purchases were still fresh on the minds of voters.
Then, of course many eyes were glued to the tv for the remarkable seven overtime LSU/ Texas A&M game, which resulted in a loss for LSU.
“It’s kind of a combination of not only it being a holiday weekend, you had a a lot of people who weren’t even in the Louisiana to begin with. But having an away game took another group of people out of Louisiana, combine those and I think voters were just not engaged. There are six more days of early voting but the first day tends to set the tone for the rest of early voting week,” said Couvillon.
The LSU game/holiday weekend scenario does provide some much needed perspective, total turnout is still expected to be considerably lower than the Primary Election.
The Primary saw 51 percent turnout, whereas the total turnout for the General election is predicted to be as low as 8 percent, and as high as 17 percent.