Preliminary statewide voter registration totals show that at least 2.92 million Louisianians will be eligible to vote Nov. 6 when the race for U.S. president tops the ballot, election officials reported Wednesday.
The numbers mean there are already about 100,000 more eligible voters today than on the rolls for last October’s governor’s race.
The preliminary total is slightly less than the 2.94 million who were eligible to vote in the presidential election four years ago, according to statewide voter statistics.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler said the preliminary number will go up between now and the Oct. 23 start of early voting as last-minute registrants are counted.
“I would anticipate something close to 2008,” Schedler said. “It could easily bump up 10,000 to 15,000 voters.”
Although voter registration ended Tuesday, there’s a 10-day waiting period between registration and when a person becomes an active voter on the rolls, office spokeswoman Meg Casper said. Plus last-minute registrations submitted by mail are probably not in registrars offices to be counted yet, she said.
“We will definitely see a surge in 10 days,” Casper said.
The voter numbers already surpass the 2.84 million eligible to vote in last fall’s statewide elections in which the governor’s race led the ballot.
Schedler said that’s not surprising because of the level of voter interest in presidential elections. Four years ago, voter turnout for the presidential election hit 67 percent, he said, double and triple recent state and local elections. “Even presidential elections before that were in the 60 to 65 percent range,” he said.
Besides the race for U.S. president, the Nov. 6 election features congressional as well as a number of local and regional elections and ballot initiatives. There are nine proposed constitutional amendments and school board term limit propositions in most parishes.
Preliminary figures indicate that the number of registered Democrats continued to decline as Republican and other party registrations increased between 2008 and 2012.
Statistics show Democrats with 1.4 million registrants, a decline of about 136,000 from four years ago. Meanwhile, Republicans gained about 60,000 from 744,000 in 2008 and those aligned with other parties grew by some 50,000 from about 650,000 four years ago, according to election statistics.
Copyright © 2011, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved