A few nice things about elections
There were lots of elections around the country smeared with negativity during this year’s midterm cycle. But in Delaware, and in particular the part of the world that we cover here in Sussex, the campaigns were plenty spirited while being refreshingly civil.
Candidates worked hard to make themselves and their platforms known to the voters. They showed a generally strong grasp of the issues, spoke forthrightly about their aims, clearly grasped that the problems of congestion and rapid development were on the voters’ minds, and focused on boosting their own views rather than beating down those of their opponents.
We heard fewer complaints this year about campaign shenanigans like theft of political signs while seeing vigorous participation in the process by letter writers and organizations sponsoring debates and forums, both urging strong voter turnout.
That level of participation and the relatively high turnout at the polls that resulted are encouraging. They show that people still believe in the democratic process that rules our nation and communities, and they show that people care.
In many places around the country, people were able to cast their ballots early. It appears that Delaware is still small enough - and its elections managed well enough - that there isn’t yet the pressure to address daunting voting lines by having early balloting.
Though it may be convenient, early balloting takes away some of the excitement of the polls where people see many of their neighbors and witness firsthand the election process. In this increasingly isolated digital world, that personal interaction at the polls is also refreshing.
Then there’s Return Day, when the candidates - winners and losers - come together in a sign of unity to once again celebrate the democratic process and signal the return of working together to address the problems of our communities.
It’s nice to be able to write about a civil election. Now it’s time to get strapped in for 2020.