Finals preparations wrap up on eve of Louisiana elections

Atop voters’ ballots Saturday is the runoff between Gov. John Bel Edwards and challenger Eddie Rispone

Final preparations underway on eve of elections in Louisiana

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Final preparations were made Friday for elections to be held Saturday in Louisiana.

Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

The biggest race, by far, is the gubernatorial runoff.

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is being challenged by Republican businessman Eddie Rispone.

It’s a match-up that many expect to attract lots of voters to the polls.

Caddo Clerk of Court Mike Spence said the number of phone calls his office receives before an election always indicates the level of public interest. “And this election, we have had many, many phone calls.”

That's translated into at least two dozen calls a day.

"The passion. There's a little more passion this time. It has the feel of a presidential election."

Negative campaign ads from both sides have inflamed public opinion about the governor’s race, Spence said.

His prediction is that about 40 percent of the state’s voters will head to the polls Saturday. “Early voting is really helping the turnout.”

As for the most common questions, it’s far from just the standard “Where do I vote?”

Another very common question is how far someone has to be from the polls if they’re politicking, Spence said.

“Six hundred feet, unless you’re on private property.”

Spence said they’ve never had a problem when someone is asked to move farther away.

Another big question: “Can I wear a political piece of clothing?”

Like a MAGA (Make America Great Again) hat worn by Trump supporters, for example.

Spence said the answer is no.

“They will usually ask an individual to turn their T-shirt over. Step outside, flip it over and then come back in.”

Spence said he should know by about 7:15 a.m. Saturday, about 15 minutes after the polls open, whether everything is okay.

And to help avoid any troubles, he said, they dispatched about a dozen deputy clerks to the voter warehouse early Friday morning.

Their task was to follow the trucks to ensure the right voting machines got to the right precincts.

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