EDITORIAL: Voter turnout, volunteers and civil candidates make successful election

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Elections matter, even when a Presidential race isn't on the ballot.

Washington County voters proved that with a favorable turnout Tuesday night. Early numbers show nearly 9,000 voters cast ballots for various races including the District 16 Senator, Blair mayor and area school boards More than 1,600 ballots were cast prior to election day, which showed an anticipation and eagerness for voting.

Voters should be applauded for their response to the Nov. 8 General Election. Locally, important races to decide leadership for cities and school boards were decided while voters throughout the state selected a new Governor.

While other races for county and municipal leadership were not contested, a fair amount of votes were still cast, which reaffirmed confidence the position holder.

Interest shown in this year's election speaks well for those selected. With the amount of voters who cast ballots, it took an overwhelming amount of support to emerge victorious in this year's election. Whether winning by a landslide or a small percentage of votes, those who were chosen fairly and by a significant number of eligible voters.

A “hats off” is also warranted for the individuals who put their names on the ballot this year, winner or not. To run for election means putting your beliefs and personal life, to some extent, in the public eye. Running for election means an individual is serious enough about wanting to instill change or use his or her knowledge to guide a community's future.

With that ambition can come attacks from opposition. Nationally, and even in some instances statewide, we've seen candidates tear each other down, bringing personal beliefs and lifestyles into spaces that should be reserved for political matters. Therein lies another chance to applaud local candidates. Very few, if any, instances like this were seen in Washington County races. In today's climate of social media, it's easy to rest on that method of campaigning. But for the most part, all candidates ran a clean, respectful election and should be acknowledged for doing so.

One last group who deserves credit are the volunteers who made the election happen. To man a polling station takes a full day of dedication and then some. Early morning and late nights are necessary to stay until the final vote is cast. Without as many volunteers in the area, a successful election would be harder to attain.

Wednesday marked a new direction for local, statewide and national seats and those who helped make it happen deserve a lot of credit.

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