Louisiana’s early voting period for the fall presidential and congressional elections shattered records as it ended.

Data released Wednesday showed nearly one-third of Louisiana's voters cast their ballots in advance of Election Day. Nearly 818,000 people waited in lines that often stretched for blocks over the 10-day early voting period that ended Tuesday night. Another 146,000 have voted absentee by mail. That's according to Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s office, which oversees elections.

Those 964,000 people represent about 32% of the state’s 3 million registered voters. And that's well above the 531,000 people who cast ballots during the early voting period for the 2016 presidential race.

In Acadiana, Claire Taylor with the Advocate notes that in Lafayette, Iberia, Jeff Davis, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes, at least 30% of registered voters voted early. In Acadia, Evangeline, St. Landry and Vermilion parishes, Taylor notes that between 22% and 27% of registered voters voted early.

Focusing on Lafayette Parish, Taylor reports Secretary of State's Office stats show early voting was up 252% compared with early voting numbers for the 2016 presidential election. Taylor also points out that about 2,000 more registered Republican voters turned out than did registered Democrats but that a higher percentage of Democrat voters turned out than did Republican voters (35% to 32%).

(Story written by MELINDA DESLATTE/AP and Brandon Comeaux/KPEL)

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