A re­mark­able elec­tion

Rappahannock News - - COMMENT -

Much could be said about the re­cent elec­tion, but be­fore we turn our at­ten­tion back to the press of ev­ery­day con­cerns, it’s worth not­ing what a re­mark­able thing hap­pened in the Town of Wash­ing­ton on Elec­tion Day.

In a town with roughly 130 full-time and part-time res­i­dents and some 112 reg­is­tered vot­ers, 76 cast ballots for Town of­fi­cials. Turnout for the Town elec­tion — the first one to take place since Town elec­tions were sched­uled to co­in­cide with a statewide gen­eral elec­tion — rep­re­sented 68 per­cent of reg­is­tered vot­ers.

While the can­di­dates for Mayor and Trea­surer ran un­op­posed, seven can­di­dates ran for the re­main­ing five seats on Town Coun­cil. All nine can­di­dates ran com­mend­able cam­paigns, ex­pend­ing con­sid­er­able time and ef­fort to make sure their neigh­bors knew who they were and why they were seek­ing their votes. The 27 write-in votes fur­ther sug­gests the con­sid­er­able in­ter­est of Town res­i­dents in this most re­cent elec­tion.

While some may have been dis­ap­pointed in the elec­tion re­sults, I found it re­as­sur­ing that so many who live in the Town of Wash­ing­ton de­cided to par­tic­i­pate in the most fun­da­men­tal form of Amer­i­can democ­racy — vot­ing in a free and fair elec­tion to de­ter­mine who “gov­erns.”

If, as it’s fre­quently said, “all pol­i­tics is lo­cal,” the demo­cratic process ap­pears to be alive and well in Lit­tle Wash­ing­ton. I sus­pect that Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton him­self — “the first Wash­ing­ton of them all” — would be quite pleased that in a town named after him, founded in 1746 and of­fi­cially char­tered in 1796, lo­cal ci­ti­zens con­tinue to ex­er­cise one of the most ba­sic rights en­joyed by the peo­ple of a free and demo­cratic na­tion.

GARY AICHELE Wash­ing­ton

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