Nine percent of vote already cast

Published 12:37 am Thursday, October 18, 2007

VIDALIA — More than 1,100 of Concordia Parish’s registered voters — approximately 9 percent — cast early or absentee ballots for the Oct. 20 primary elections.

Concordia Parish Registrar of Voters Golda Ensminger said 1,033 of the parish’s 13,000 registered voters took advantage of early voting in this election.

In addition to the early votes, as of Wednesday the registrar’s office had received back 103 of the 163 absentee ballots the office mailed.

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Compared to past elections, that kind of early turnout is almost double what is normal, Ensminger said.

“In the past, we would have considered it a big election if we had 500-700 early votes,” she said. “We never experienced any lulls in the early voting.

“I think there is a lot of interest in this election.”

The office would have had more early votes if they could have had more machines, Ensminger said.

The reason the number of machines was limited was because the registrar’s office only has room for two machines, she said.

“We could have moved into the hall but there aren’t enough plug-ins for the machines out there,” she said.

Logistically speaking, moving the early voting downstairs in the courthouse would not have been workable, Ensminger said.

“Because with early voting you’re having to deal with every precinct, I would have been running up and down the stairs with every vote,” she said.

Another reason Ensminger said early voting might have been stunted was the delay caused by voters’ enthusiasm for early voting.

“Some people weren’t willing to wait the hour-and-a-half it would have taken for them to early vote,” she said.

Absentee ballots are due by mail at the registrar’s office by Friday with the exception of military or overseas ballots, which can be received Saturday. The election is Saturday.