Runoff numbers see big dropoff from earlier record turnout

After a presidential election that saw record turnout, both for early voting and on election day, the runoff election turnout so far is a little underwhelming.

With fewer items on the ballot — and minus the drama of a fraught presidential race — the Dec. 5 election will be lucky to draw half of the voters that the Nov. 3 slate of candidates did.

On Friday, the first day of the early voting period, Iberia Parish saw 320 voters arrive to cast their votes in person, and another 112 mail in their ballots.

On Saturday, 205 voters cast their ballots in person, while another 191 mailed theirs in.

In the city of New Iberia, there are two runoff races on the ballot. Ricky Gonsoulin and David Merrill are vying for the Mayor Pro Tem, while Tony Miguez and challenger Corey Porter are facing off in a runoff for City Marshal position.

Voters will be selecting new judges in two divisions of the 16th Judicial District Court. In Division F, New Iberia attorney Natalie Broussard is facing off against 16th JDC Assistant District Attorney Anthony “Tony” Saleme. In the Division H race, prosecutor Roger P. Hamilton faces New Iberia attorney Alicia Johnson Butler.

There is also an opening on the Republican State Central Committee to be filled in State Senate District 22 and a constitutional amendment that would allow an out-of-state resident to serve on a public postsecondary education board of supervisors.

Almost all elections pale in comparison to presidential contests, but after the biggest national turnout in history the current runoff trickle is noticeably small so far. Iberia Parish was averaging well over 1,000 voters a day for each of the 10 days of the extended early voting period for the Nov. 3 election. In the first two days, the parish’s voters still have not matched any one day from that early voting period.

And this time, the early voting will only be open for five days rather than 10.

Early voting runs every day through Saturday, Nov. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, excluding Sunday, Nov. 22, Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 27 due to the state observed holiday for Thanksgiving and Acadian Day.

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

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