A few weeks from now, Bossier Parish voters will go to the polls. There are some important political races on the ballot within both Bossier Parish and the city of Bossier City. Races for District Attorney, Bossier City Marshal, Bossier Parish School Board, Louisiana Public Service Commission, one of Louisiana’s two U.S. Senate seats and Louisiana’s 4th District U.S. House of Representatives seat are on the ballot. Also on the ballot are races for Plain Dealing Mayor and several Plain Dealing Alderman seats – along with several races for Constable/Justice of The Peace within Bossier Parish. There were to be several judgeships on the ballot within both the city of Bossier City and Bossier Parish. However, all of these races were unopposed with only one candidate qualifying for each race.
Finally, there are 14 statewide constitutional amendments on the ballot. The wording on the constitutional amendments is always very confusing. I always like to read and study the amendments before getting into the voting booth. In fact, the Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council has the amendments broken down in plain language on their website. I have always found this breakdown to be very helpful. You can go to their website at: www.parlouisiana.com to view the amendments.
These are all important political races/issues and we must practice our right to vote. Our right to vote is a democratic right that should be protected. Our U.S. Constitution provides no explicit right to vote. However, there are constitutional amendments that prevent voting discrimination. The 15th Amendment (ratified 1870) prevents denial of voting rights based upon race, color or condition of servitude. The 19th Amendment (ratified 1920) prevents denial of voting rights upon the basis of gender (sex). As such, the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. There are also several voting rights acts which have been enacted through the years.
Absolutely, we must both practice and respect our right to vote. We must take it seriously. . Our vote counts and if we choose not to go to the polls, then, as the saying goes, we have no right to complain or gripe about the events that will shape the course of our political futures. So, let me strongly urge you to vote in the upcoming November 4, 2014 election. Your opinion matters…your vote counts.
Next year (2015), we will have an even bigger political season – as the Louisiana statewide elections will be on the ballot. Governor, State Senate and Louisiana State House of Representative races (along with many other items) will be on the ballot for the October 2015 Primary. Then of course, November 2016 is only two years away. So, we have some very important elections on the horizon. Thus, we must ALL exercise our right to vote!
Randy Brown is Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org