NEW ORLEANS — People have been lining up across the state today for the first day of early voting in the midterm elections.
And there are a lot of important races on the ballot in Louisiana, five U.S. house seats, and one U.S. senate seat.
There are also several proposed amendments to the state constitution.
The polling site at Lake Vista has been nonstop for the first day of early voting. Not only has there been a steady flow of voters, but Gov. John Bel Edwards stopped by as well.
All afternoon long, voters filed into the Lake Vista Community Center. Many wanted to make sure nothing unforeseen could stand in their way.
“I just wanted to beat the rush, and this way if something else came up in my life, I knew I had it done,” one man said.
“To make sure I don't miss it, because things happen every day and you don't get to it,” one woman voter said.
One mom uses the time to do her civic duty as a teachable moment. Over the years, the early voting sign is like a growth chart for her son Owen.
“What's on the table is very important, very important to our youth. That's why I'm here showing my son the right thing to do,” she said after voting.
Owen's mom hopes eight years from now he will be another voter who let's no obstacle keep him out of the voting booth.
When asked why it’s so important for him to vote in every election from when he was 18 years old to now at 92, one man responded, “Because if you don't vote, you can't complain.”
Gov. Edwards was in New Orleans, so he stopped by the Lake Vista site to thank the poll workers, and to remind people that there are plenty of opportunities to cast a ballot, for almost two weeks of early voting, or on election day Nov. 8.
“And it's just really important that people vote," the Governor said. "That's how we exercise, and protect our democracy."
But it doesn't matter that Louisiana is not breaking any turnout numbers. And it doesn't matter that in the state there are no statistical dead heat races that could flip the U.S. Senate red or blue. For people who are first in line, on the first day, the importance of voting any time is ingrained.
“This election is so important. We have got to get these politicians in order. Our state has really been going down. Our city has been going down. It's the voters that have to come out and do something about it, because just sitting home complaining isn't doing anything,” one women voter said.
Early voting goes through Nov. 1, every day except Sunday.
In Lake Vista, local turnout has been moderate and average.
The Secretary of State says that is the same turnout across the state. A normal turnout with no record numbers, like in some of the states with hotly contested senate races.
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