2008-11-12 / Editorials

With Election Over, New Era In Political Life Dawns

Election Day 2008 marked the end of hard-fought battles on local, state and national levels. The day that for too long seemed unreachable has not only come, but as of a week ago, has gone. In its wake is a political landscape that has undergone many changes.

One of the changes was the huge, almost unprecedented number of voters who flocked to the polls. At some polling places in New York City, lines of voters waiting for their polls to open at 6 a.m. stretched for blocks. The story was the same in much of the rest of the nation. One woman came to her polling place in an ambulance, so determined was she to cast her ballot.

The record turnout followed months of intensive effort to register voters by campaign workers of both parties and many nonpartisan organizations. Workers also followed through with the people who were the subject of their registration campaigns. In several cases we heard about, campaign workers took voters they knew were registered with another political party to the polls nonetheless. It mattered not for which candidate the person was voting, what mattered was that he or she got to the polls to cast that vote. Several localities not only sent out absentee ballots to whoever requested them, but also allowed ballots to be cast before Election Day, although these votes were held until official tallying began after the polls closed. These pre-election sessions also drew voters in record numbers. A new era of civic involvement in the voting process seemed to have dawned.

All things considered, the act of voting demonstrates true American democracy. Every candidate and the people who voted for him or her or their respective opponents, if any, had one vote. No vote counted for more than any other. No votes counted for less because they were cast by persons of differing ethnicities, gender or religious persuasion. In fact, all votes cast were equal in anonymity. No matter for whom any person voted, no reprisals will be exacted by anyone.

We hope those waiting on long lines to get into their polling places did not have to wait too long or endure much discomfort. We hope, too that once having begun engaging in the practice of exercising their right under the Constitution of the United States, they will continue. Our democracy will survive and thrive only if this is the first, not the last election in which those multitudes of new voters cast their ballots.

Those multitudes of voters cast ballots, some for the first time, because they believe that this is the dawn of a new era in the political scene, both in America and around the world. This is true for every election, be it a presidential race or a midterm contest with candidates little known to any but the voters in their respective districts. In each case, voters go to the polls because they hope the candidates for whom they are voting will in some way improve or augment their individual lives as well as society as a whole. Knowing this, we admire tremendously those who let their names be placed on a ballot for election to any office, knowing as they do that the hopes and dreams of so many rest on their shoulders alone once the vote tally shows them to be the winners.

To willingly take up this burden shows a strength of character and commitment to the public good on the part of candidates, whether they won or lost, and the American voting public that ensures our democracy will continue to function and lead the world in a sterling example of free people governing themselves.

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2018 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.