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|Election turnout light|
Voter turnout was low in Saturday's federal primary elections, with a little more than one percent of Franklin Parish's 13,745 registered voters casting ballots.
Voters numbered about 1,419, including those who voted absentee and people who came to the Franklin Parish courthouse on Saturday to cast their ballots, said Franklin Parish Clerk of Court Anne Johnson.
Johnson attributed the low turnout to this year's closed primary elections.
"This is way less than we generally have, but we've never had these closed primaries before and I expect that's the reason that we have seen such a low turnout," Johnson said.
Under the new rules, only registered Republicans could vote in that party's primary, while both Democrats and independents were allowed to vote in the Democratic primary.
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, who received 88 percent of the vote, handily defeated rivals Chet Traylor, a retired state Supreme Court justice and former Winnsboro resident who now lives in Monroe, and Nick J. Accardo, to clinch the Republican nomination for the Senate.
Traylor got seven percent of the vote and Accardo, a south Louisiana physician, received five percent.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, who earned 71 percent of ballots cast in the Democratic nomination for Senate, also won in a landslide against Neeson J. Chauvin Jr. of Carencro, with 18 percent, and Cary J. Deaton of Metairie, with 12 percent.
Libertarian Randall Todd Hayes of Atlanta earned 62 percent of the vote to surpass Anthony Gentile of Mandeville, 38 percent, to win his party's nomination for the Senate.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, a Republican from Quitman, who scored 89 percent of the vote, won the Republican primary for Louisiana's 5th Congressional District by surpassing Todd Slavant's 11 percent. Since there were no other challengers for the 5th District, Alexander will skip the general election and return to the House.
Other candidates who made it pass the primary elections will have to face off against others vying for the same seat in the the Nov. 2 general elections.