BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's elections chief is predicting only half of the state's voters or fewer will cast ballots in the Oct. 24 election to choose a new governor, new lieutenant governor and other statewide leaders.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler released his projection Friday, saying he expects 40 percent to 50 percent voter turnout based on early voting patterns he's seen. That would be less than the participation in last year's congressional elections.

Early voting ends Saturday.

Data through Thursday showed nearly 148,000 people — 5 percent of the state's 2.9 million registered voters — cast ballots in advance of the election so far.

People seeking to vote early can do so at parish registrar of voters' offices and other designated locations. The Secretary of State's Office has a list at: .

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