If you've been to your parish polling place to cast your ballot early for the 2016 General Election you've probably noticed you were not alone in your idea. Thousands of Louisiana voters have taken the opportunity to cast their ballot now and avoid the rush of November 8th.

Political analysts have been watching the turnout and the all seem to have the same basic one-word response. "Wow"!

Wow in terms of the fact that not only is there a record turnout, it is substantially higher than it was in two days in 2012.

Those are the words of John Couvillion. John is a pollster with JMC Analytics. His comments were made to the Louisiana Radio Network.

In his comments, Couvillion suggested that voting this year might be front loaded. That much more people than usual would take advantage of the opportunity to early vote.

Rather than early voting being 18% of the total like it was in 2012, I’m thinking now 25% to 35% of the vote will be cast the next five days.

Already  more than 162-thousand votes have been cast across the state. It appears if there are more women voting early than men. It also appears that more people who consider themselves to be Democrats have voted than those who label themselves as Republicans.

Fifty-seven percent of the first-day early voters had voted at some point in 2016, which would mean the presidential primary and miscellaneous state and local elections.

Early voting will continue across Louisiana until November 1. The exception is that the polling places will be closed on Sunday,October 30th.  We suggest that you get very familiar with your particular ballot before you step into the voting booth to minimize wait times when early voting or on election day November 8th.