Jared Andrews at Denham Springs - Walker branch

Registrar of Voters Jared Andrews discusses the early voting process at the parish's new, satellite location.

If you haven't noticed, there's a heavy push for early voting this year.

A combined effort between Clerk of Court Jason Harris and Registrar of Voters Jared Andrews, the two - who run the operation of early voting in Livingston Parish - are trying to avoid low voter turnout on election day, October 12, for a wide variety of reasons.

LSU football, which figures to be unbeaten at that point, will take on Florida at 2:30 p.m. on CBS - the absolute worst time, according to the registrar, for voting; Southeastern will host it's Homecoming that evening; it will be the third weekend of hunting season; and the Livingston Parish Fair will be wrapping up for it's, historically, most popular day.

Those reasons have pushed the polling tandem to make a concerted effort to pick up early voters - and so far it's paying dividends.

1,670 citizens turned up early on just the first day of the early voting period - 32% of the 2015 early voting total, and 6% of the total votes cast by Livingston Parish in 2015.

2015 was the last gubernatorial election, which drew a 37% turnout from parish voters or 29,299 of 78,256 registered, with 5,248 voting early.

For the 2016 presidential election, the parish had an early voting satellite location at Juban Crossing. That race drew 70% of registered voters, with 18,877 voting early.

The new satellite location at the Denham Springs - Walker branch library figures into that number, Andrews said, as nearly 500 showed up at the new polling option before lunch Saturday to cast their vote.

Both the library and the registrar's office are open for early voting from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through next Saturday, October 5.

The early voting polls were closed Sunday.

Voters are urged to remember that they will be using digital voting machines for early voting, which function much like a tablet or smart phone. 

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