Our view: Voting matters

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The votes are in from Tuesday’s general election in Craig and Moffat County, and it didn’t take long to count them.

Craig Editorial Board, October 2009 to January 2010

  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Joshua Roberts, newspaper representative
  • Collin Smith, newspaper representative
  • Karen Knez, community representative
  • Ken Wergin, community representative
  • Kenny Wohl, community representative

All told, 1,005 of the county’s 8,730 total voters cast a ballot, translating into an 11.5 percent overall turnout.

That equaled one of the lowest results in Moffat County’s election history, providing a disappointing historical footnote.

To those 1,000 voters and change, the Editorial Board would like to say thank you, and that we appreciate your contribution to the workings and doings of the government you help pay for.

Thank you for taking the time to exercise one of the most fundamental and important — and perhaps, underappreciated — rights we Americans have in our free society.

There are maybe understandable reasons why people didn’t vote Tuesday — they forgot about the election, the candidates were uncontested, the ballot question wasn’t terribly pressing, time ran short or schedules didn’t allow it — but none of them are enough to justify an abysmal 11.5 percent turnout.

But this opinion piece isn’t focused on criticizing those who didn’t vote but rather praising the people who did.

In the end, issues and elections are decided by those who show up.

A little more than one of every 10 Moffat County residents did so Tuesday, and for that, the Editorial Board is grateful.

Perhaps the next Election Day will have more people who care just as much.

Switching gears

Another item board members discussed Monday was spurred by a documentary centered on national parks airing on PBS.

Filmmaker Ken Burns’ documentary series “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” is a 12-hour, six-part offering that emphasizes the message that most of America’s “special places … should be preserved, not for royalty, or the rich, but for everyone.”

Board members found the documentary a poignant, informative and insightful look at the country’s national park system, and we implore residents to watch the series and learn more.

National parks are an important piece of America’s legacy.

Watch the Burns documentary and that message quickly will become clear, and you’ll find a deeper appreciation for the wisdom that went into creating our country’s parks’ system.

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