BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A little more than a week before Election Day, more Louisiana voters than ever are choosing not to wait — and their eagerness could prompt a milestone.
A record 761,215 Louisianians have filed mail-in or in-person early ballots so far, according to JMC Analytics & Polling. Poltical pollster John Couvillon hints that by the time early voting ends Tuesday, the state could hit the seven-digit mark.
“The million-early-voter mark is a theoretical possibility,” Couvillon said. “It’s something we can intelligently talk about as having a chance to happen this year, which certainly would not have been on anybody’s radar before then.”
Much of this surge has to do with the convenience factor. Early voters rarely face the long lines Election Day voters do — considered a plus given the COVID-19 pandemic, which led Louisiana to extend early voting this year from seven days to 10.
Efforts to extend the early voting window for future elections could emerge in the coming years, Couvillon said.
“I do think, to some extent, people’s behavior has been changed,” he said. “I think it will continue to do so going forward into future election cycles.”
As for the 2020 election cycle, Couvillon expects the early voting deluge will prompt a longer vote-counting period, especially for out-of-state and national races.
“Because it’s a more manual process, you could have a situation in which states may not call until they have a sufficient number of mail-in ballots that have been counted,” he said. “We’ll just have to see.”
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.