Candidates in state and local races spent the day before polls open trying to persuade supporters to go vote in Saturday’s elections.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Topping the list is the race to elect a new governor, but 1,069 offices are on the ballot across the state, including six other officials to be elected statewide.
In Lafayette Parish races, voters will choose a new city-parish president and an assessor, and will cast ballots for sheriff and City-Parish Council.
State legislator Joel Robideaux and City-Parish Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley are vying to replace three-term City-Parish President Joey Durel.
Rachelle Falgout, a political newcomer, is challenging Lafayette Assessor Conrad Comeaux.
In the race to replace four-term Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mike Neustrom, Rick Chargois, Mark Garber, Chad Leger and John Rogers will face off in a race that could head to a runoff if no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote.
Neustrom chose not to seek re-election.
A field of 17 candidates will compete for six open seats on the City-Parish Council.
At least three of those races will be decided Saturday, but three others have more than two candidates and could end up in a runoff.
In the surrounding region, voters in Acadia, St. Martin, Iberia and Vermilion parishes will vote for sheriff and the parish governing body, either police jury or council.
Voters in St. Landry will vote on Parish Council, but incumbent Sheriff Bobby Guidroz was automatically re-elected when no one signed up to run against him earlier this year.
In addition, voters statewide will decide the fate of four proposed constitutional amendments — two of them aimed at providing more money for the state’s transportation needs. Voters in 27 parishes have local tax propositions and other initiatives on their ballots.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler is predicting less than half the state’s registered voters will cast ballots. Less than 8 percent of the state’s 2.89 million registered voters cast their ballots early.
“No matter what your political views, it’s important to go vote on election day,” Schedler said Friday. “This year, there continues to be a large number of undecided voters, according to the polls, but there are lots of ways to get election information.”
At the top of the ballot, nine candidates are vying to replace two-term Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has to step down because of term limits.
The four best-funded candidates are Republicans U.S. Sen. David Vitter, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, as well as Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards.
Only the top two vote-getters will move on to a Nov. 21 runoff.
Edwards began Friday by working the room at Frank’s restaurant in Baton Rouge and then stayed to order a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich for breakfast, along with a cup of coffee. Afterward, he did an interview with a Lafayette radio station and then did a phone call with campaign calls canvassing captains, who are in charge of making sure his supporters get to the polls on Saturday.
Vitter and his wife Wendy held meetings with supporters in Metairie, Kenner, New Orleans and Ascension Parish and made calls to encourage folks to vote. He also was in a minor fender bender in Metairie while moving between meetings.
Angelle spent the day in his home base of Acadiana, making stops in Acadia, Vermilion and Lafayette parishes, where he visited courthouses and local businesses to shake hands with people and ask for their votes on Saturday.
Dardenne stayed in his home base of Baton Rouge. He attended the LSU 100 lunch, where the Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute honored the 100 fastest-growing companies owned or led by former LSU students. The lieutenant governor also answered questions on his campaign’s Facebook page.
Officials who run some of state government’s larger operations will be elected by statewide ballot.
Winners in the secretary of state’s and treasurer’s races will be settled Saturday. Republican Schedler is facing Democratic opposition from Baton Rouge lawyer Chris Tyson, and four-term Republican Treasurer John Kennedy from fellow Republican Jennifer Treadway, a Baton Rouge lawyer.
But other seats could require a runoff.
Because Dardenne is running for governor, the Lieutenant Governor’s Office is open and features four candidates: former Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, Jefferson Parish President John Young and Opelousas state Sen. Elbert Guillory, all Republicans, and East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden, a Democrat.
Multiple candidates are challenging incumbents — Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon and Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, all Republicans — leaving open the possibility of runoffs in those races.
Before Saturday’s election, more than half of the Louisiana Senate — 21 of 39 senators — and a majority of the Louisiana House — 53 of 105 representatives — already won re-election because no opponent signed up or the challenger dropped out.
When the results are in from Saturday’s primary election, at least another nine senators and 29 representatives will have won election because of head-to-head match-ups with opponents.
Elections officials are encouraging voters to use the GeauxVote app, where voters can find their polling location, as well as see what’s on the ballot and use it as a guide in the voting booth. They also remind voters to bring a photo ID to the polls.
Advocate staff writer Richard Burgess contributed to this report.