Early voting steady in area

Published 12:07am Saturday, October 27, 2012

NATCHEZ — Local elections officials say early voting for the Nov. 6 presidential election is brisk but does not stand out compared to other elections.

Adams County Circuit Clerk Eddie Walker said since mailing out the county’s overseas absentee ballots Sept. 21, early voting by mail and in person has been at average levels.

“I thought we would have a pretty good turnout; I thought we would be mailing out a lot of absentee ballots and having a lot of absentee ballots cast in person, but that hasn’t been the case,” Walker said. “But we have had a steady stream of people coming in and steady calls requesting absentee ballots.”

In Concordia Parish, Registrar of Voters Golda Ensminger said early voting, which opened Tuesday, has been brisk.

A total of 838 early votes have been cast in Concordia Parish, with 691 of those being cast in person. Of those, 200 were cast Friday.

Ensminger said she anticipates more than 1,000 early cast by the close of the early voting period Tuesday. Since Louisiana implemented no-excuse early voting, it has grown in popularity, and Ensminger said those working in her office have a difficult time taking a lunch break because the voters don’t thin out enough.

“It is nicer because people can come and vote because they just want to get it done early, and they don’t have to worry about something coming up at the last minute and keeping them from voting,” Ensminger said.

Both Adams County and Concordia Parish will have extended hours for early voting today.

In the county, the clerk’s office will be open from 8 a.m. until noon for absentee voting, while in the parish the registrar’s office will be open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Early voting in Louisiana ends Tuesday. Unlike absentee voting, it does not require an excuse.

Absentee ballots in Adams County must be received in the mail before 5 p.m. Nov. 5 to be counted. Those that are received on Election Day will only be counted for the presidential election.

Those who may absentee vote include those who will be out of the county on Election Day, those living temporarily outside the confines of the United States, college students who attend school outside the county, those in the armed forces and those age 65 and older.

The clerk’s office will also be open from 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 3 for absentee voting.