Early voting begins, drawing long lines at EBR polls
BATON ROUGE - On Friday (Oct. 16) morning, hours before early voting began in Louisiana, lines had already formed at poll locations in East Baton Rouge Parish.
An hour before the polls open for early voting about 30 voters are already in line here at Forrest Community Park.— Nadeen Abusada (@NadeenAbusada) October 16, 2020
This year Louisiana polls will be open for early voting from 8 a.m to 7 p.m beginning today until October 27th. @WBRZ pic.twitter.com/4kNfUGPEaL
As locals braved the early morning chill to stand in line, state officials were busy at work.
At 7 a.m., Friday State Secretary Kyle Ardoin released an email, announcing a slight change to a recent voting tradition.
With the pandemic curbing in-person activities, in lieu of providing voters with a physical 'I Voted' sticker, a new digital, downloadable sticker is now available for the upcoming November 3 and December 5 elections.
Ardoin said voters can obtain a digital sticker by visiting the Secretary of State's website at: sos.la.gov/IVotedSticker.
After grabbing the sticker from the website, voters are welcomed to display it on social media or use it as a digital background for electronic devices.
Ardoin also encouraged voters to share their pictures using the #GeauxVoteLouisiana hashtag.
“Knowing the excitement voters have for “I Voted” stickers, we wanted to make sure there was a way for voters to express their pride in voting,” Secretary Ardoin said. “So in the midst of a pandemic, we introduce the Louisiana version of an electronic “I Voted” sticker.”
Upon entering polling locations, which open at 8 a.m., voters will find hand sanitizer available for their use and election workers clad in full personal protective equipment, standing by to sanitize voting machines and pens after each use.
In addition to these observations, voters will see a lot of their fellow citizens waiting to cast their votes. Some polling experts predict the number of ballots cast statewide will surpass the 65,000 cast on the first day of early voting in 2016.
Based on the long lines outside of East Baton Rouge Parish's polling locations prior to 8 a.m., such predictions seem likely.
Voting sites in East Baton Rouge Parish are listed below:
-City Hall - 222 St. Louis Street, Room 607, Baton Rouge
-State Archives Building - 3851 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge
-Forest Community Park - 13900 S. Harrell's Ferry Road, Baton Rouge
-Baker Motor Vehicle Building - 2250 Main Street, Baker
-Central Branch Library - 11260 Joor Road, Central
Citizens who vote should bring either a photo ID, a United States military identification card that contains their name and picture, or a a free Louisiana special identification card obtained from the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles.
Early voting for the Presidential General/Open Congressional Primary continues from Oct. 16 through Tuesday, Oct. 27 (excluding Sundays) from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Those who vote are encouraged to wear masks, though masks at polling locations are technically optional.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information about elections and voting, contact the Elections Division at 800.883.2805 or email@example.com.
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