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With only one issue on the ballot in Concordia Parish in the Saturday, Oct. 17 election, voter turnout here is expected to be low.
The sole issue in Saturday's election is a special election to name Justice Chet Traylor's successor on the state Supreme Court. Traylor retired from the bench in late May, following a more than 12-year stint on the state's highest court. He represented the 4th District.
Two Republicans are vying to succeed Traylor. They are 4th Judicial District Court Judge Marcus Clark and Pineville attorney Jimmy Faircloth.
It is worth noting that there are 13,729 residents in Concordia who are eligible to vote in Saturday's special election. However, only 61 people voted early in Concordia during the early voting period, which ended Oct. 10. That told us that voting in the Supreme Court election isn't high on the people's to-do list.
According to Clerk of Court Clyde Ray Webber, voter turnout in Concordia probably will not exceed 10 percent on election day.
We suspect, though, that the obvious lack of interest in the Supreme Court race is an accurate representation of the lackadaisical attitude people in general entertain when important decisions need to be made on the electoral front. After all, who are we to ask the people to give up some of their precious time on a Saturday to cast a ballot in an election that determines who will join the most important court in the state?
Though voter turnout throughout the 4th District is expected to be light on Saturday, we would like to think Concordia Parish voters would possess a more than passing interest in deciding who succeeds Traylor. Aside from faithfully serving the state of Louisiana in a number of capacities dating to the late 1960s, Traylor cut his teeth, so to speak, a short distance from here, in Winnsboro. Accordingly, it could be argued that we have a vested interest in picking the person who replaces him on the state's highest court.
Remember, the state Supreme Court is the appellate court charged with hearing cases that have made their way through the judicial system, from the district court to the court of appeal and finally, to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court justices are empowered to make decisions on matters ranging from civil lawsuits to criminal proceedings. To surmise, it is difficult to overstate the importance of the role Supreme Court justices play in society.
It difficult as well to overstate the importance of the decision voters make in choosing a Supreme Court justice. Every vote matters.
That is why we strongly encourage Concordia Parish voters to participate in the Supreme Court election on Saturday, Oct. 17.
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