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Early voting numbers set daily record in Ouachita Parish

Posted: Updated: Oct 31, 2012 06:22 PM

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Early voting numbers have been tallied in Ouachita Parish and across the state and the numbers are up. In Ouachita Parish long lines wrapped through hallways and packed parking lots at early voting locations. Over 12 thousand people showed up with their minds made up, some waiting nearly two hours to vote.
"It was really busy." said Parish Registrar Christa Medaries and adds for a presidential election, the early voting turnout this year broke a daily record for the parish.

"There wasn't a day where we didn't have a thousand people come through" said Medaries.

Statewide early voting numbers are up. 12% of Louisiana's 2.9 million registered voters cast ballots early.

Does this mean more will turn out on election day? ULM political science professor Joshua Stockley doesn't think so.

"I think the increase in early voting is telling us voters like to vote before election day" said Stockley and adds historically speaking, boosts in high early voting numbers don't translate into higher election day votes. "So if total voting is not increasing at the same rate as early voting we can just come to the conclusion early voting is more popular and not just voting" said Stockley.

But he has seen one change compared to the 2004 and 2008 elections, more Louisiana republicans are voting early. Stockley attributes the change to a more competitive presidential election.

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