BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Early voting for Saturday's runoff elections is up 16 percent from primary figures, with the largest increases in urban areas.

Elections officials tell The Advocate ( ) that 257,021 of Louisiana's 2.89 million registered voters had cast ballots by the time early voting ended Saturday.

Political analyst John Couvillon says that suggests a 44 percent turnout is likely. The ballot is topped by the race for governor between Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter.

The Oct. 24 primary turnout was 39 percent.

Analyst Ed Chervenak says increases were higher among African-Americans and registered Democrats than among whites and registered Republicans.

He and Couvillon say that could bring what Couvillon calls a mild benefit for Edwards.

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