Up compared to 2012: Early voting open through Nov. 1

Published 5:54 am Friday, October 28, 2016

Early voting has kicked off this week and Registrar of Voters Randy Strickland said so far he’s seen a better turnout than 2012, the last presidential election.

“It’s going good,” he said. “We’re doing about 450 here (in Bogalusa) and 420 in Franklinton per day.”

Strickland was in Bogalusa on Wednesday, observing the voting process at Northshore Technical Community College. That morning, five electronic voting booths were lined against a wall in the student center. They were filled and a line of voters was backed up three- and four-deep. Strickland said the line was even longer Tuesday, the first day of early voting.

He estimates this to be about 50 to 75 more people per day than during the last presidential race.

Voting will continue for one week through Nov. 1, except for Sunday.

In Bogalusa, early voters may visit Northshore Technical Community College from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and in Franklinton voters can vote at the Washington Parish Courthouse during those same times.

In order to vote, voters will need to bring some kind of state-issued photo identification, like a driver’s license, with them.

Nationally, Election Day is Nov. 8, but Strickland said early voting makes sense for a variety of reasons.

“We just push early voting because on Election Day you could get sick or we could have bad weather. Anything could happen,” he said. “So why not take advantage of the beautiful weather and vote early?”

Although the presidential election is a hot topic of conversation, the ballot is also filled with local issues. In Bogalusa, voters will be asked whether or not to renew a variety of taxes, and several elected officials are on the ballot in Franklinton, Angie and Bogalusa. Statewide, voters will be asked to select a U.S. Senator to replace the Republican David Vitter, and several state constitutional amendments are also on the ballot.

However, Strickland said he hasn’t heard too much confusion about all of the issues and measures on the ballot. The biggest shock he’s heard about is over the top of the ticket.

“There are 13 presidential candidates on the ballot,” he said. “That seems to surprise some people.”