About 84 percent of Louisiana residents who are eligible to vote are registered to do so as the Nov. 6 election approaches, Secretary of State Tom Schedler said Monday.
“We are the fourth highest in the country,” Schedler said. “Now the job I wish we would do better is voter turnout.”
Early voting opens Tuesday for the election in which the presidential race tops the ballot and 2.928 million people are registered to vote.
The voter number is down slightly — about 17,000 — from the 2008 presidential election.
Schedler said voter registration has rebounded significantly since 2010, when 122,000 people were purged from the voter rolls because of inactivity.
That number was double the number of voters whose names get purged in any given two-year period, Schedler said. The reason is tied to the Legislature postponing purges in the wake of 2005 hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which displaced a lot of south Louisiana people, he said.
“We had a four-year cycle rather than a two-year,” he said.
“We have been constantly trying to catch up since then,” Schedler said, referring to the 2010 voter purge. “We have gained numbers but are still 17,000 from were we were.”
Registered voters in Orleans Parish are down about 40,000 from the 2008 presidential election at 244,322 eligible to vote Nov. 6, according to the Secretary of State’s office. The Orleans number is up, however, from the 2011 governor’s race when 231,316 could vote.
Schedler said he expects a good voter turnout Nov. 6 because of the presidential contest. In 2008, voter turnout was 67.2 percent, in 2004 it was 66.9 percent, and in 2000, it was 63.5 percent.
“That is always our high weather mark,” said Schedler, referring to statewide voter turnout.
Schedler encouraged people to consider early voting, noting that it is a Tuesday, instead of a Saturday election.
Early voting runs from Tuesday to Oct. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except Oct. 28.
Those who want to vote early may do so in person at their local registrar of voters’ office or at other designated locations such as the State Archives Building in Baton Rouge.
A complete list of early voting locations is available on the secretary of state’s website at: http://www.sos.la.gov/home/elections/earlyvotinginperson/earlyvotinglocations.
Voters can also use a smartphone application, GeauxVote Mobile, to find out where to vote, what’s on their ballot and their voting districts.