MOUNTAIN - We heartily congratulate the candidates, winning and losing, in Tuesday's election. It's a huge and potentially scary commitment to run for a public-service office, and we are proud that so many of our area's electable positions were contested. It isn't always that way, but without choices, there is no democracy. Thank you all for putting yourselves on the line.
MOUNTAIN/VALLEY - In general, we are grateful to the people working behind the scenes in the election. They're working the kinks out of our new method of voting - filling in bubbles on paper ballots and feeding them into electronic readers - which is getting smoother, even though we will probably always miss the turquoise, steel, lever-action machines. Also, the aces at the Franklin County Board of Elections had every vote in every race added up and posted online by 9:40 p.m., 40 minutes after the polls closed (unofficial as always; absentee and military ballots aren't counted yet). That kind of speed probably would have been impossible with the machines, and we appreciate it.
Essex County election officials had a harder time. Although they actually posted the final poll totals online by 11:11 p.m., they accidentally left notices on their site saying many of the polling districts still hadn't reported. For North Elba, the county's most populous town with a major supervisor race at stake, the county left people hanging by saying the numbers were only from two of the town's seven districts (29 percent) - when in fact the numbers were for all seven. We were among those left uncertain until mid-morning Wednesday - at the peak of our daily deadline crunch - when we finally got someone from the county Board of Elections on the phone. They corrected the disclaimers right away, and we were able to confidently go to press saying Roby Politi had won re-election.
MOUNTAIN - Finally, thank you, if you voted. Thank you for caring about how things will go for your community in the future. Thank you for taking a little bit of time to learn about the candidates so you make more of a decision and less of a gamble.
In some towns the turnout was greater than others: Keene's 480 voters were 43 percent of its 1,105 residents (according to the 2010 census), while in the larger towns of Harrietstown and Tupper Lake the voter-to-resident ratios were between 10 and 20 percent. That could be skewed by demographics - more children in bigger towns and more retirees in Keene - but it also shows that there's room for improvement in many towns' sense of community. Voting is a sign that someone feels part of a place, feels at home, feels like what they do there matters - or at least hopes for that. Whether you think things are good or bad, voting is the way forward.
Please remember that next November, when we'll be choosing a new president for this great nation.