SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Long lines and anxious voters signal early voting across the United States, as the country prepares for the November election.
For Louisiana, this is the last weekend for early voting. Community organizations such as the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice and Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), set up shop in Shreveport to educate voters before they cast their ballots.
“A lot of people don’t know they can take their sample ballots with them to the polls,” said Candice Battiste, northwest Louisiana organizer of the Power Coalition.
She said it’s crucial people make educated votes and take the time to get to know what’s on the ballot before getting in line at their local polling locations.
“We’ve had a lot of people tell us there’s confusion when it comes to those ballots, and even not knowing when it comes to who’s going to be on the ballot,” Battiste said. “We want them to be prepared whenever they go into the voting booth.”
According to voteearlyday.org, voter turnout is expected to be higher in 2020 compared to past elections.
Battiste said voter registration saw an increase before the deadline. Plus, some people with felonies now have the opportunity to vote in Louisiana.
“If they’re not registered, we ask them why," she said. “If they say it’s because they have a felony conviction, then we educate them and let them know that that is no longer keeping them from their right to vote,” said Battiste.
Across town, VOTE hosted an early voting drive, specifically seeking out formerly incarcerated people.
“When you are incarcerated and you come back home, now that VOTE has got your voting rights reinstated, go to the probation and parole office on Youree Drive, let them put your DOC number in, and it will tell you whether you can or can’t vote," said Felicia Smith, Shreveport organizer for VOTE. “You need to have your voice heard. It starts with your voice, that’s the change.”
Tuesday is the last day for early voting in Louisiana. Polling locations are open from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.