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Cecil Whig - - & -

To the news that the first day of early vot­ing shat­tered pre­vi­ous county records. With sev­eral hours still to go in the first day, a to­tal of 1,483 reg­is­tered vot­ers had cast their votes — 13 per­cent more than the 1,288 to­tal bal­lots cast in six days of early vot­ing in 2010, the first year it was im­ple­mented. The ex­cite­ment started early, as 34 vot­ers were lined up when the polls opened at 8 a.m. and more quickly joined the ranks. Within the first few hours, the Ce­cil County Board of Elec­tions had to add four ad­di­tional vot­ing ma­chines to ac­com­mo­date long lines. Surely the deeply par­ti­san pres­i­den­tial race be­tween Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton and Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump helped draw in the record num­ber of vot­ers. But we’ll be in­ter­ested to see if these early bal­lots will help sway any down-bal­lot races, in­clud­ing lo­cal ones like county ex­ec­u­tive or board of ed­u­ca­tion. Most im­por­tantly, how­ever, res­i­dents are def­i­nitely ex­er­cis­ing their civic voice this year, and we en­cour­age ev­ery­one to cast a bal­lot this year with so many im­por­tant races listed.

To the com­ple­tion of the $33.2 mil­lion project to up­grade the North­east River Ad­vanced Waste­water Treat­ment Plant at Seneca Point, which prob­a­bly didn’t re­ceive the pub­lic fan­fare that it de­served. The project, which was years in the works, en­hances nu­tri­ent re­moval stan­dards to not only meet state law, but also set Ce­cil County up for fu­ture growth. The Mary­land De­part­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment has man­dated that the 67 plants in the state that are per­mit­ted to treat 500,000 gal­lons or more daily, in­clud­ing Seneca Point, must up­grade by Jan. 1. It’s all part of a larger ef­fort to clean up the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay by re­strict­ing the amounts of ni­tro­gen and phos­pho­rus en­ter­ing its trib­u­taries from sewage treat­ment plants. Aside from its en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits, the up­grade in­creases sewer ca­pac­ity, al­low­ing new de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Route 40 cor­ri­dor. Ku­dos to the hard work by the Ce­cil County De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works and part­ners for com­plet­ing this project on time.

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