Iberia registrar hopes for larger turnout in second week of early voting

With one week of the two-week-long early voting period for the Louisiana presidential primary, Iberia Parish Registrar of Voters Kristie Blanchard is hoping for a larger turnout in week two.

“I think people don’t know about this election, or they think today could be the first day or last day (of early voting),” she wrote Saturday. “We started on June 20, and go through July 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for voting.”

The election, originally scheduled for April 4, was pushed back to July 11. Instead of running for one week as usual, the early voting period has been extended to 13 days, with early voting places across the Teche Area open every day except Sunday, including the July 4 holiday, from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.

So far, there have been 1,471 votes cast in Iberia Parish. In 2018, for the midterm Congressional election, there were 4,741 early votes cast during the week-long early voting period.

Of those 1,471 votes, 987 were from white voters, 465 from Black voters and 19 listed their race as other. The voters were predominantly women, casting 895 votes to 576 for men.

As far as party affiliation goes, Democrats are outstripping Republican voters so far, 650 to 821. Only 436 of the votes so far in Iberia Parish have been cast in person, with 1,035 being cast absentee.

In St. Mary Parish, only 880 votes were cast during the first week — 551 from white voters, 315 from Black voters and 15 claiming other. Early voters in St. Mary Parish were also predominantly women, by a 545 to 335 margin.

Democrats outnumbered Republicans, 506 to 374. As in Iberia, the bulk of the votes were cast absentee rather than in person, 509 to 371.

Early voting will continue Monday morning across the state. The last day to vote early is Saturday, July 4.

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

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