Final day of early voting sees more than 800 ballots cast

Even with poor weather, Iberia Parish Registrar of Voters Kristie Blanchard said turnout for the final day of in-person early voting was a success, with more than 800 ballots being cast for the upcoming Dec. 5 runoff election.

“We’ve been real busy today even with the weather,” Blanchard said. “We had 563 ballots cast in person, and another 256 by mail.”

That 819 ballots came close to the more than 1,000 cast each day during the extended early voting period that led up to the Nov. 3 presidential election. Overall, though, the runoff election has not generated near the excitement that the “most consequential election of our time,” as it was labelled, drove ahead of the Nov. 3 contest.

Early voting for the Nov. 3 balloting had more than 14,500 votes cast. Even cutting that in half to account for the longer early voting period, the 3,168 cast this time around was less than half the votes counted during a five-day period for the previous election.

“We still have a lot of absentee mail-in ballots out there,” Blanchard said. “I still think we are going to get a few more in.”

Those voters who requested mail-in ballots have until Friday to get their ballots to the Registrar of Voters Office in the Iberia Parish Courthouse. Because there are only a few days left, Blanchard suggested that voters should, if possible, drop them off in person.

“We have to have them by Friday by 4:30,” Blanchard said. “You can drop it off. You don’t have to mail it.”

Those voters who did not vote early or request an absentee ballot can still make their voices heard on Saturday, when the polls for the election will be open.

“All 64 precincts will have something on the ballot Saturday,” Blanchard said. “Whether it is a constitutional amendment or a judicial race, or another office, there will be something there.”

One bit of confusion that Blanchard said she had seen is voters not knowing which 16th Judicial District Court race they would see on their ballots.

“Some voters think they have a different judge on the ballot,” from the November election, she said. “But nothing has changed. I think it’s because some people are seeing signs for races outside of their precinct, so they think that race is on their ballot.”

The confusion comes from the Division H race, which does not include voters across the three parishes of the 16th JDC. Because it is a minority district, its voter pool is smaller.

“Voters should go online to geauxvote.com and look at their sample ballot,” Blanchard said.

Polling places for the Dec. 5 election open at 7 a.m. Saturday and will remain open until 8 p.m.

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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