With heightened interest in the presidential election, registrars of voters are anticipating long lines when in-person early voting begins in Louisiana on Friday.
Some voters in Georgia stood in line eight hours to cast ballots for president on the first day of voting Tuesday.
Several registrars in Louisiana suggested preparation will help reduce the wait times and warned they expect long lines when early voting opens Friday.
Voters may visit GeauxVote.com to view what's on their ballot. They can print the ballot or download the GeauxVote app with their sample ballot.
"You can have your ballot all marked on your phone and use that as your guide when you are at the voting machine," Iberia Parish Registrar of Voters Kristie Blanchard said Wednesday. "You should not be coming into the office to ask for a sample ballot. Be a prepared voter."
The ballot is lengthy in Lafayette Parish, containing races for U.S. President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, District Judge, District Attorney, City Judge, Lafayette City Marshal, seven state constitutional amendments, a sports betting proposition, a public school tax renewal and re-dedication of a parish wide cultural economy (CREATE) tax to fire protection in unincorporated areas and to roads and bridges.
Early voting for the Nov. 3 election will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 16-27, except Sundays.
Two additional early voting locations will be open in Lafayette Parish, the Martin Luther King Center at 309 Cora St. in Lafayette and the East Regional Library at 215 La Neuville Rd. in Youngsville.
As always, those voting early also may do so at the Lafayette Parish Registrar of Voters Office, 1010 Lafayette St., Suite 313 in downtown Lafayette. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, voters will not be allowed to wait inside the building, Registrar Charlene Menard said. Voters should be prepared to wait outside until summoned by a deputy when it is their turn to vote.
St. Landry Parish has not added early voting locations, Registrar Cheryl Milburn said, but those waiting to vote will be allowed to do so in a nearby courtroom.
In Terrebonne Parish, voters won't be voting early at the registrar's office, Registrar Rhonda Rogers said. Instead, all early voting will take place in the larger civic center at 346 Civic Center Blvd., in Houma.
Voters should bring a photo ID, wear a mask and practice social distancing, Menard said.
The number of mail-in ballots requested for the Nov. 3 elected suggests voter turnout will be high for the election. In Lafayette Parish, 10,412 voters requested mail-in ballots as of Tuesday, Menard said on Wednesday. That's about 6½% of the 159,269 registered voters as of Oct. 1.
Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 1, 1,899 people registered to vote in Lafayette Parish, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State Office. A breakdown by political party shows 63,525 voters (40%) in Lafayette Parish are registered Republican, 51,209 (32%) are registered Democrat and 44,535 (28%) are registered as other party.