Early voting in Louisiana tells a tale of disproportionately fewer black voters participating, presaging the total vote – but not that it will make much difference in most final outcomes.
When considering these early totals for the period that ended earlier this week, the state hit an all-time high for midterm elections (early voting became available in 2008) at just over 12 percent. Some notable aspects stand out.
First of all, when looking at statewide numbers historically, contrary to popular folklore asserting that blacks vote disproportionately early compared to whites, in Louisiana at least there has been no difference with race. The ratio of white/black turnout percentages of their total registrations voting early from 2008-2020 average was 1.14. The same computation for total voting (early plus election day) over that period was virtually identical, so both races voted in roughly the same proportions early to election day. However, this masks a trend that perhaps fueled the popular perception; even as blacks voted early at a higher proportion from 2008-14, since then whites have. So, a continuation of this more recent trend wouldn’t be a big surprise.