The election is over. The voters have spoken. There are new faces in local halls of power.
Although the Barton County Clerk’s office’s numbers are merely preliminary, out of the 17,357 eligible voters in the county, 4,141 voted. That makes for a voter turnout of 23.86 percent.
We will have to wait until the vote count is finalized when the Barton County Commission canvasses the ballots Monday morning to know the final turnout. But, if it stands, fewer than a quarter of the county’s voters bothered to cast ballots.
There are three points to be made now.
First, anyone out there who is dissatisfied with the results and didn’t vote has no room to complain. For all the hoopla generated by the Great Bend police chief controversy, there didn’t seem to be a massive race to the polls last Tuesday.
Granted, this was an off-year election and there were no big-draw races like there were last November. But, when it comes to an impact on residents here, this general election was probably more important.
Secondly, it is time for those political newcomers who tossed their hats into the ring and won to step up and be leaders. They must channel whatever passion spurred them to run into a passion to serve their communities.
It won’t be easy. But, it is assumed they understand this and will give the commitment needed for these crucial posts.
Lastly, it is time for the rest of us, whether we agree with the winners or not, to step back and allow them to serve. We must give them the benefit of the doubt, burying any hatchets we may have.
Remember, like what happened or not, these candidates got involved. The rest of us didn’t.
There has been a lot of ugliness in our community of late, a lot of bitterness and anger. But, it is hoped that this is not, deep down, what we really are.
Let’s heal and move forward.