SHREVEPORT, Louisiana. – As early voting comes to an end, the latest numbers show that voters in Louisiana are not very enthusiastic about heading to the polls for the general election.
The statewide voting report, which tracks the number of ballots cast in person or by mail, reveals that voting numbers in Louisiana are down compared to the last general election in 2019.
In 2019, there were more than 503,000 total votes, representing 33% of the 3 million registered voters in the state. This year, however, only close to 209,000 people have voted, which is barely half of those numbers from 2019. The turnout rate so far is only 7%.
The low turnout is also evident in Caddo and Bossier parishes, where only 15,000 voters turned out for early voting, compared to the 25,000 in 2019.
Scott Hughes, a political analyst and host of the podcast American Ground Radio, says he expects the low turnout to continue until the election day on November 18. He says that most voters have no interest in state or local elections, especially when there are no major races or issues on the ballot. He also says that football and hunting season may draw some voters away from the polls this election cycle.
“There’s not a lot of excitement. There’s not a lot of energy. There’s not a lot of motivation. There’s not a lot of reasons for people to go vote,” Hughes said. “People are more interested in LSU football, Saints football, or going hunting than they are in voting.”
Hughes says that the low turnout could have an impact on the outcome of some races, especially those that are close or competitive. He says that candidates who have a loyal base of supporters or who have invested in get-out-the-vote efforts may have an advantage over their opponents.
“Some candidates are going to be surprised. Some candidates are going to be disappointed. Some candidates are going to be happy. It’s going to be a very interesting election night,” Hughes said.