Louisiana election turnout could surpass decades-old high

Election HQ

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — As a sea of unknowns douses Election Day 2020, one thing is certain: Overall turnout in Louisiana will be high.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin predicts the state will surpass 70% turnout, between early and day-of voters.

“As one voter said, if I can stand in line at Disney World, why wouldn’t I stand in line to vote for President of the United States?” Ardoin said.

Political pollster John Couvillon hints the total turnout could surpass that from 1996.

State election officials have already counted nearly a million early votes. But even with that record early turnout, Couvillon foresees long lines Tuesday.

“I would still expect it to be crowded, given that it’s a presidential election,” he said. “But at least you’re not going to have all the early voters showing up.”

Another factor in play is storm damage. Hurricanes Laura and Delta have left Calcasieu Parish commissioners consolidating poll spots; power outages from Hurricane Zeta have Orleans Parish commissioners considering the same. Either way, Ardoin insists voters will have somewhere to vote — with electricity.

The national surge of mail-in votes may leave Americans waiting longer for presidential projections this year. But Couvillon doesn’t expect that to happen with Louisiana-based races, including those for U.S. Senate, Congress and East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President.

Any Louisiana race without a majority winner will head to a runoff between the top two vote-getters. Runoff day is Dec. 5.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.