Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’ve already cast your ballot.
Maybe you dropped it in the mailbox. Maybe you dropped it in your local ballot box. Maybe, out of paranoia, you insisted on marching down to the county clerk’s office and personally handing your ballot to a live person.
Or, maybe you’re one of those last-minute people who’ll be sprinting to the ballot box at 7:59:57 p.m. on election day, waving your ballot high in the air and screaming “WAAAAIIIIITTTTT!”
Regardless, it’s safe to say people are more engaged than ever in this election. That’s a good thing. Any time people come out to get involved in an election process that determines the fate of not only their lives, but many others, it’s a reason to celebrate.
But with that involvement comes passion, and sometimes too much passion. There’s a real fear of that today, one that prompted The Oregonian to write an article Monday about how Oregon, along with Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan, are considered “susceptible to right-wing militia groups this week, with the most volatile areas situated in state capitals and surrounding towns, medium-sized cities and suburban areas.”
It’s reasonable to think Roseburg would be considered a medium-sized city. It’s also reasonable to believe people would act like adults, however, if the election results don’t go the way some people want them to. For some people, that’s more of a pipe dream.
With that, we’ve narrowed our “How to get through Election Day” guidance down to four simple steps:
1. Accept the results. If your guy lost in the presidential election, accept it. If the measure you voted for didn’t pass, accept it. Granted, some measures and some elections mean more to some than others, but the simple fact is that if something passed that you didn’t vote for, you were outvoted.
2. Realize that no election results will be final today. No election results have ever been final on election day. Ever. Even when media projects winners, it’s based on unofficial vote counts that clerk’s offices report. It’s accurate, but not official.
3. Be gracious. It’s cool to celebrate if your candidate wins. It’s OK to be sad if your candidate loses. But don’t be a jerkface about it if your candidate prevails. Likewise, don’t be an immature, whiny child if your candidate loses. Which brings us to our final step ...
4. Life goes on. No matter how much of the Kool-Aid you’ve chugged from each political party over the past three weeks, three months or three years, the sun will still come up tomorrow. The country isn’t going to close up. The world won’t come to an end. Keep that in mind.
Our nation has survived close to 250 years, and it’s a good bet that regardless of the circumstances, it’ll survive another four, regardless of who’s in charge. And if we don’t like what’s happening, there’s always avenues we can travel to make our country, and community, better.
That’s what elections are all about. Everyone wants our nation, and Douglas County, to be better, and everyone has a say on how it gets done.
Let’s let everyone have their say.