More Louisianans cast a ballot this year than any other in the past 30

    BRIEF

    Long lines during Georgia's June 9 primary were in part attributed to experienced older poll workers backing out due to coronavirus worries. But the state has also closed 214 polling places since 2012. (John McCosh/Georgia Recorder

    With 92 percent of precincts reported as of 12:30 on Nov. 4, 2,100,291 voters cast their ballots in Louisiana, the most ever in a presidential election.

    2,100,291 of the 3,092,871 is an unofficial turnout of 69.4 percent. An increase of the 67 percent voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election.

    Before Nov. 3, about a third of Louisiana’s registered voters cast ballots during the 10 days of early voting for this year’s presidential election, according to statistics provided by the Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s office. The official tally was 977,685 of the 3,092,734 state’s qualified voters had already cast their ballot through early voting or absentee ballots the day before election day.

    Three hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic made voting this year especially difficult. In Southeast Louisiana, polling stations were without power following Hurricane Zeta and ran on generators. 

    In Southwest Louisiana, thousands of voters cast their ballots in different locations Tuesday because Hurricane Laura wrecked their traditional polling sites in late August, and they have not yet been repaired.Ninety-five polling precincts have shifted because of the destruction of the Category 4 storm, according to the Associated Press.

    Organizations such as The Urban League of Louisiana and The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice organized voter reach-out efforts and offered rides to the polls to get more Louisianans civically involved.

    Peter Robbins-Brown, the communications director for the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, said the organization’s  goal this election season was to reach out to around 700,000 potential voters and distribute 250,000 door hangers with election information. He said the Power Coalition focused especially on citizens who vote infrequently or are unlikely to vote at all, which he said are usually people of color or citizens of a lower socioeconomic status.

    “Last year, we contacted a range of about 465,000 voters, almost all infrequent or semi frequent voters of color across Louisiana,” Robbins-Brown said. “This year, we increased that range.”