Early Numbers Are in for Saturday Elections

Candidates have only a few days before learning the effectiveness of their campaigns. Election Day is this Saturday, Nov. 18, with polls opening here in Winn Parish at 6 a.m. and closing at 8 p.m. 

Meanwhile, 2,130 voters have already logged in their opinions during the 7-day Early Voting period that ended Saturday, Nov. 11. This total (including 1,927 walk-in votes and 203 mail-ins) was up 194 or 10% compared to Early Voting period for the Oct. 14 Primary Election. The one-day voting record was topped when the Sept. 30 record of 407 was bettered Nov. 3 with 492 in-person voters.

The strong early turnout is not an all-time record for Winn, reports the Registrar of Voters Bryan Kelley. That record goes to the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential race when a total of 2,438 early votes plus 385 mail-in absentee ballots were cast for a tally of 2,823. But it was also noted that 2020 offered a 10-day Early Voting period for a rate of 243.8 votes per day compared to 275.3 for this round.

At the forefront of ballot interest is the race for Winn Parish Sheriff. In the Oct. 14 count, challenger Josh McAllister edged incumbent Cranford Jordan by just 42 by a margin of 36% to 35%. The third candidate Dylan Womack garnered 1,352 votes for 29% of the 4,590 total turnout.

Two other local men looking ahead to Saturday night are Kevin Pharr and Darrell Franks who are contending for the District 3 Police Jury seat left vacant by McAllister. That was also a close October race, with a slim 9-vote difference. Pharr tallied 41% while Franks had 40%. Bryan Price received the remaining 19% of the turnout.

Statewide races that were not decided in the first round include Secretary of State between Gwen Collin-Greenup (D) and Nancy Landry (R); Attorney General between Lindsey Cheek (D) and Liz Murrill (R); Treasurer between John Fleming (R) and Dustin Granger (D); and District 4 BESE Board member between Stacey Melerine (R) and Emma Stepard (D).

Additionally there will be four more Constitutional Amendment proposals on the ballot.