Settle: Vote turnout for November a big unknown

Voter turnout is always a major concern for political candidates. And it is no different for Shreveport mayoral and council candidates this year.

The primary is on Tuesday, Nov 6. The run-off election is on Saturday December 8. Both days can be problematic for candidates and their supporters.

Weather is always a concern, and work days can be a challenge for some voters. Saturday elections can be impacted by college football games, and hunting seasons.

But the big “if” this year is the lack of big names on the ballot. There is no presidential election and no U.S. Senate race.

The ballot will have 6 Constitutional amendments and two propositions. There is also a special election for Louisiana Secretary of State and the U.S. Representative 2 year term.

The number of Caddo registered voters has been up and down since 2008. The largest number of voters was in the 2012 election (169,859). This number fell by over 1000 for the 2016 election.

As of September 16, the registered votes were 161,156, which is 8703 less than the 2012 high. Caddo registrar of voters Ernie Roberson does not predict any big uptick in number of registered votes. He says Caddo Parish continues to lose voters by death and relocation.

Voter turnout for Caddo elections has been falling since the 2008 presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain. In that election the turn out was 66.71%. Total voters cast was 109,529.

The 2012 presidential election was between incumbent Obama and Mitt Romney. The voter turnout was 66.30%. Total votes cast was 112,624.

The 2016 Trump versus Clinton presidential election had a turnout of 63.36%. Total votes cast was 106,911.

Roberson says that the turnout could be as low as 40%. He is certain that it will be much less than 60%.

John Settle is a Shreveport-Bossier political columnist. You can see previous articles at www.settletalk.com