For Moffat County residents and Coloradans, Tuesday's election was divisive. Tax questions usually are.
Locally, voters had to decide whether to exempt county officials from revenue limits imposed by a law from 1913. They also had to decide whether to approve a property tax increase that would benefit a group that serves mentally disabled clients.
And on a state level, voters were asked to allow government to use more than $3 billion in taxpayer money to ward off drastic cuts.
Campaigning was intense. Harsh accusations flew.
But no matter the outcome of the referendums, or which side you were on, it was heartening to see people responding to the issues and heading to the polls.
County officials report that 1,438 people voted early for Tuesday's election, compared with 937 in the off-year election during 2003, nearly a 53 percent increase.
Early voting often is an indicator of overall voter turnout. In Moffat County, there were no political offices up for grabs. But there was a lot at stake.
Typically, local elections inspire few voters to go to the polls. That's a shame. And it's also baffling. Local issues tend to affect people sooner and more profoundly. A small number of registered voters shouldn't decide issues felt by all taxpayers.
Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, "Elections belong to the people. It is their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters."
Apathy is lame. So are excuses. That's why we commend Moffat County residents who cast ballots in Tuesday's election.