A law professor, in an opinion piece for The Washington Post, says Louisiana’s recent Republican primary illustrates flaws in the growing practice of early voting.
His conclusion: As is true with all early voting, there were in fact two Louisiana elections, and voters participating in the “first election” lacked information about later campaign developments.
Eugene Kontorovich, a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, points out that Donald Trump carried the state by banking a large number of votes during the state's week-long early voting period in February. At that time, Kontorovich says, Trump was riding high on a several-state winning streak. On election day itself, voters shifted toward U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
The Advocate has reported that of the 41,889 registered Republicans who voted early, either in person during the early voting period or by absentee ballot, an analysis shows that Trump took 47 percent of the vote to Cruz’s 21 percent. On election day, Cruz took 41 percent of the vote to Trump’s 40 percent.
Pollster and Louisiana political analyst John Couvillon told The Advocate the shift is significant and rarely seen. “Unfortunately for Ted Cruz, the difference among early voters was too much to overcome,” he said.
Among the possible factors at play was “a substantial shift in the tenor of the Republican campaign in the wake of the Thursday night debate,” Couvillon said of Fox News’ GOP debate that came after early voting but two days before the election.