Yesterday, The Town Talk published an article claiming that only 15,000 people in Rapides Parish showed up to vote on Saturday. Either The Town Talk has just uncovered a major story about voter fraud… or they simply failed to check their facts.
The total votes received in Rapides Parish (based on the results of the parish-wide race for Sheriff) was 35,674. I think I may understand the confusion. From the article:
In a 9 p.m. update, Rapides Parish Deputy Clerk of Court Pam Sanchez said 15,000 voters from 35 precincts had voted.
Rapides Parish has 103 precincts, not 35. The Deputy Clerk of Court was explaining to The Town Talk that 35 precincts accounted for 15,000 votes, which makes sense.
The early vote was approximately 5,500, which means that at least 30,174 people voted on Saturday in Rapides Parish.
But their facts get even more confused when they claim, in another article, that 46% of registered voters showed up to vote on Saturday or voted early (a statistic that seems based on yet another made-up “estimate”). Quoting the article:
Rapides Parish voters showed some Police Jury incumbents the door on Saturday, when about 46 percent of parish registered voters showed up at the polls or voted in early balloting….
According to the Rapides Parish Registrar of Voters, 38,854 people were registered to vote for the Saturday election.
This is funny, because in an another Town Talk article from a couple of weeks ago, Joanell Wilson, Rapides Parish Registrar of Voters, clearly tells them that Rapides Parish has a total of 79,624 registered voters. (This makes sense).
35,674 divided by 79,624 equals 0.448 or 45% voter turnout.
So although The Town Talk severely underestimated the number of people who voted on Saturday or voted early, they somehow overestimated voter turnout.
As a postscript, what would really be interesting is if the Rapides Parish Registrar of Voters had actually told The Town Talk that 38,854 people voted on Saturday or voted early, which would mean that 3,180 people simply did not vote in the Sheriff’s race. It does not seem unreasonable, but it also would mean that over 8% of the people who showed up to the polls refused to make a decision between Wagner and Slocum.
38,854 divided by 79,624 equals 0.487 or 49% voter turnout.