Some Cenla parishes report low turnout for General Election

The General Election brought a low percentage of voter turnout in some Central Louisiana parishes.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 3:58 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The General Election brought a low percentage of voter turnout in some Central Louisiana parishes.

“I’ve seen a few things go down as far as six percent if it was a tax, if that was the only thing on the ballot because people just won’t get out and vote for those,” said Sandy Bonnette, Rapides Parish Registrar of Voters. “But for a candidate election, that is just so low.”

In Rapides Parish, Bonnette reports an 18.8 percent voter turnout in statewide races. With approximately 83,000 registered voters in the parish, Bonnette said it is a rarity to see all 83,000 make it to the polls.

“If they’re going to vote, they’re going to come vote,” Bonnette said. “They have seven days of early voting to vote.”

There were only a few high-profile runoff elections that were on the ballot, including Secretary of State, Attorney General and Treasurer, as well as four proposed constitutional changes. Over in Vernon Parish, Clerk of Court Jeff Skidmore said the parish’s voter turnout for the general election was at 17 percent. According to Skidmore, having a 30 percent voter turnout would be considered a good turnout for Vernon Parish.

“Even if you say, well, 30 percent was good. Well, that means you have 70 percent that didn’t vote,” Skidmore said. “But, then you still have the people that are going to go vote no matter what. You have your chronic voters, and they’re going to come out. I don’t care if there is just one thing on the ballot, they’re going to come and vote.”

Skidmore said the best turnout came from the last Presidential Election in 2020 and people are going to see a lot better turnout next year for that election.

“It’s going to be wild because this is what everybody’s waiting on,” said Bonnette. “It’s just the atmosphere in the country.”

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