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|Oct. 17 elections matter|
Early voting for the Oct. 17 elections concludes this weekend.
Early voting began a few days ago and will continue each day until Saturday at the Registrar of Voters office at Ouachita Parish Courthouse in Monroe. Early voters must present their current Louisiana driver's license or a Louisiana special identification card or another generally recognized picture ID to vote. Any identification must include a voter's name, address and the voter's signature.
A host of elections will appear on the Oct. 17 ballot including calls to establish road lighting districts in unincorporated areas of the parish. Voters also will decide whether to renew a property tax dedicated to the Ouachita Parish Fire Department.
Meanwhile, voters will determine whether to levy a 1.8-mil property tax to help pay for a $15 million incentives package for V-Vehicle Co. Local officials pledged the incentives package to help lure V-Vehicle Co. to Ouachita Parish.
On another front, voters must choose between two Republicans to determine who will fill an unexpired term on the Louisiana Supreme Court. Terms on the Supreme Court run 10 years.
Supreme Court Justice Chet Traylor of Winnsboro resigned in late May from the District 4 seat of the state's highest court. Traylor, a Republican, stepped down to pursue a legal career in private practice.
The two candidates vying to succeed Traylor are 4th Judicial District Court Judge Marcus Clark and Pineville attorney Jimmy Faircloth.
Clark, of West Monroe, has served on the 4th Judicial District Court bench of Morehouse and Ouachita parishes since January 1997. Prior to his election to the District Court, Clark was an assistant district attorney in the 4th Judicial District. Clark also is a former law enforcement officer.
Faircloth most recently served as Gov. Bobby Jindal's executive counsel. He was appointed to that post when Jindal took office in January 2008. Before Faircloth was named the governor's executive counsel, he practiced law at his own law firm in Pineville.
We recognize that enthusiasm over the Oct. 17 elections has been somewhat lax. However, voters owe it to themselves to vote during the early voting period or on election day because it is their constitutional right to do so. Voters also owe it to the men and women who died serving our nation to guarantee an individual's right to vote.