The people have spoken in near record volumes

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — It wasn’t too long ago most of us were complaining about voter apathy.

Now, granted, presidential elections usually attract more attention, but this year’s election drew a good amount of focus — and maybe not for all the right reasons.

For all the venom spewed forth, and the billions of dollars spent, this election is historic in so many ways.

The good news is that the American people, using the format of our forefathers, have spoken, casting ballots in near record amounts.

In West Virginia, the total number of voters had not been released by Wednesday, but area counties were reporting strong turnout. And early voting set local and state records, leading many to believe that would continue on Tuesday’s big day.

Of the area counties, Lewis led the way with 69 percent voter participation. That’s a little bit short of its record, but still a strong number.

Upshur County was next at 65.1 percent, while Harrison (62.8), Barbour (62.4) and Doddridge (62) followed close behind.

Only Taylor County, at 59 percent, and Marion, at 58.4, failed to crack the 60 percent threshold.

All of this points to a highly engaged electorate that saw something that they either strongly liked or were concerned about in one or more candidates.

For some, the presidential race was a big drawing card. But with governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor and agricultural commissioner all up for statewide consideration, voters had plenty of choices to make.

Likewise on the local level, where county races for commissioner, sheriff, circuit clerk, county clerk and assessor were on ballots, as well as state delegates and senators, local levies and other initiatives.

We expect a combination of these factors played a part in the strong turnout, and we applaud those who took the time to vote.

We also applaud the county clerks, their staffs and all of those one-day wonders, those poll workers who toil 14 or more hours for little pay, all to make the linchpin of American democracy continue without a hitch.

Whether you agree with the results or not, we’d like to think the majority of voters agree that the system remains the best in the world, where each individual vote matters and each person has a chance to voice their opinion at the ballot box.

We’re just glad to see so many make the effort to do just that.

See more from The Exponent Telegram. 

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