Our opinion: The process works

Published 6:30 am Saturday, November 7, 2020

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As this editorial is published, races remained to be decided in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, North Carolin, Alaska  and Pennsylvania and Joe Biden was leading Donald Trump 253 to 214 in the Electoral College.

Wins in Arizona and Nevada would have given the exact number needed — 270 — to claim the White House, even though Biden was making gains in both Pennsylvania and Georgia. Already the Trump campaign has begun the legal maneuvering to try and salvage the presidency should Trump lose.

These last four years have led to a divisive America and it remains to be seen what the next four years will look like, but we do know how the present looks and we need to commend all of those on either side who mobilized in the right way to get their voices heard and cast their votes.

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People across the country turned out in record numbers to vote, one of the single most important things any American can do. Should Biden win the presidency; he will have done so with the largest vote tally of any American president.

This speaks to the passion voters had as they headed to the polls for the start of a very dramatic week.

The democratic system does not work without voters.

At the same time, the democratic system does not work if there are not people working long hours to ensure that each and every vote is counted. Clearly in America now, there are concerns and issues being raised over just how those votes are being counted, but we’re confident those processes are working for the American people to maintain the integrity of our elections.

In particular, our own election officials worked in spectacular fashion to make the voting process throughout the day as smooth as possible. With record turnout, candidates and voters alike commended the effort and result of Election Day in Austin and we tend to agree.

A person may point out the issues of counting votes in the following days, as officials worked to overcome a software glitch that affected how results were reported to the state.

Throughout the week, though, results had been combed through by our local officials and reported through diligence and hard work. They did so under pressure as part of an election machine across the country that is dealing with those same stresses.

As the election slowly grinds to a halt, attention now moves squarely to those winners who will be representing us.

We want to congratulate those winners and wish them luck in their future work of drafting and passing policy. We also want to thank those who lost for wishing to be part of the process that  would make our communities better. And to those incumbents who lost, thank you for serving our area and serving our state.

At the same time, those winners — some  of which are new to government office — face a test of endurance. Your life will change dramatically in one of the most difficult periods in our country’s history.

You are given the responsibility to guide those who voted you into office, but you must be prepared to represent all of us. There will always be political parties, but you must recognize that you do not just represent one value over another. You represent all of those values among your constituents. Extreme party loyalty has helped get us into this mess, demonstrated by those who refuse to bend.

It’s once again worth saying that we are stronger together.

It’s time to heal a nation. It’s time to get to work.