OK, we voted, now what?

Record Observer - - OPINION -

Elec­tion Day ei­ther brought changes to those hold­ing lo­cal, state and na­tional of­fices or largely kept the sta­tus quo.

We thank those who ex­er­cised their civic right — and shoul­dered their re­spon­si­bil­ity — to vote in the 2018 gen­eral elec­tion. Whether you voted early, by ab­sen­tee or on Elec­tion Day, whether you voted a straight party ticket or split votes among two or more par­ties, whether you voted for can­di­dates and poli­cies you sup­port or against can­di­dates and poli­cies you op­pose, our democ­racy de­pends on you get­ting out and cast­ing your bal­lot.

We ap­plaud those who ran for pub­lic of­fice. In th­ese di­vided times, it is not al­ways the eas­i­est de­ci­sion to make. But most of you ran for of­fice be­cause you want to serve the cit­i­zens of your county, Con­gres­sional dis­trict or state. Whether the vot­ers chose to elect you to of­fice or you fell short in your cam­paign, you felt strongly about your mis­sion and did your best to earn votes.

For those in­cum­bents who de­cided not to seek re­elec­tion or who didn’t win an­other term on Tues­day, we thank you for your ser­vice to your neigh­bors and fel­low cit­i­zens. You served the cit­i­zens as best you could, tak­ing time away from your own jobs, busi­nesses and fam­i­lies to do so. Whether it was your de­ci­sion or the vot­ers, en­joy the ad­di­tional free time or stay in­volved and ac­tive in the po­lit­i­cal arena in other ways.

There was a red wave here in Queen Anne’s County, where Repub­li­can can­di­dates and in­cum­bents found fa­vor with the vot­ers, while other parts of the na­tion went blue.

Ei­ther way, we would en­cour­age our fel­low cit­i­zens to con­tinue to pay at­ten­tion to the po­lit­i­cal process. En­sure those who were elected are re­spon­sive to the needs of the county, dis­trict or state they rep­re­sent.

We also would urge those who are more ac­tively in­volved in pol­i­tics or var­i­ous is­sues to con­tinue their ef­forts. At­tend meet­ings. Speak at pub­lic hear­ings. Pay at­ten­tion to vot­ing records and pub­lic com­ments.

Fi­nally, we would ask ev­ery­one to re­mem­ber that we are more united than di­vided. We sup­port many of the same things, but may dis­agree on the best ways to ac­com­plish our goals.

Look for com­mon ground. Seek out areas of agree­ment and dis­cuss areas of dis­agree­ment calmly and with­out ran­cor.

Whether we have mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions of an­ces­tors buried here or are more re­cent ar­rivals, we’ll re­main here af­ter Elec­tion Day, neigh­bors all the same. If we can keep that in mind and get to know one an­other on a more per­sonal level, rather than re­ly­ing on la­bels like “lib­eral” or “con­ser­va­tive,” “Demo­crat” or “Repub­li­can,” we’ll be a stronger com­mu­nity for it.

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