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Early voting ends with nearly 20% casting ballots early

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BATON ROUGE - By the end of early voting Tuesday evening, nearly 20% of registered voters in Louisiana are expected to have cast ballots early.

Early voting started last Tuesday and continued each day except Sunday until Tuesday at 6 p.m. State election officials said it's likely 550,000 voters will have voted early across the state.

During WBRZ News 2 at 6 p.m. Tuesday, a long line had stacked up outside the early voting location on Coursey Boulevard in Baton Rouge. People in line by 6 p.m. were allowed to vote.

"I did my civic duty. I think (my vote) does count, and it does matter," Dustin Brown said as he waited in line.

About 73,000 people have voted early each day they've been allowed. State officials said early voting participation is a record. In 2012, about 59,000 people voted early each day they could.

Presidential elections are usually more popular than other elections, officials said.

"We're just really pleased to see the high turnout numbers," Meg Casper, the spokesperson for the Secretary of State's Office said.

There are numerous local races in addition to the presidential decision.  Many areas are deciding on new city leaders, U.S. Senate, congressional representatives, constitutional amendments and taxes.   

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