SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Just four days into early voting, more than 200,000 Louisianans requested mail-in ballots for the 2020 election so far.
Many voters hope their ballot can make a difference in what could be one of the most highly influential elections in our country’s history. Those high stakes brought early voters out in droves in Louisiana, Arkansas and East Texas with the start of early voting.
Across the Lone Star state, hundreds of thousands lined up outside polling places waiting hours at a time to cast their ballot.
When asked if she was worried about the heavy traffic and added pressure of more ballots to count, Loretta Mason, Panola County election administrator, responded:
“We’ve always had a good rate as far as getting the ballots counted and it being done accurately. We’ve never had a problem in our office."
The scene was similar in Louisiana, with lines of people outside the Caddo Registrars office in the cold weather for hours. For many voters, the security of their ballot weighed heavy on their minds.
Out-dated voting machines in some parts of Louisiana have left voters worried about problems with counting ballots. The machines were supposed to be replaced earlier this year, but a contract issue delayed the change.
“I feel 100 percent comfortable that each person that cast a vote, their vote will be counted,” said Caddo Clerk of Court, Mike Spence.
Spence said he was confident his election team wouldn’t run into any issues.
“On election day if a machine goes out the first thing we do is contact the secretary of state’s office and they send a mechanic in to fix machine. Generally, one machine won’t hamper us too much. Most of the precincts have five machines," said Spence.
He also said it could take longer this year to have results since there will be a presidential race involved.
“This election there will be lines at 8 o’clock. There always are. The last person in line at 8 o’clock gets to vote. That means we’ll probably be delayed about an hour or so. I’m going to do all I can to make sure the final tallies are by 11 o’clock.”
Louisianans can request a mail-in ballot, if they qualify, until October 30th. The ballot must be turned in by November 2. Early voting in Louisiana will run until October 27.
In Texas, early voting will run until October 30, and in Arkansas you have until November 2.