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Thanks to all who took part in the electoral process

By Jason Walser

For the Salisbury Post

Fresh off of a losing campaign for the 13th Congressional District, I want to say thank you. Thank you to my supporters, thanks to those who made the effort to vote for others, and thanks to those who worked the polls.

I have been particularly reflective the past two months on what a beautiful form of government we have in America. I have very real concerns about the role of money in the political process, and I worry about the hyper-partisanship that appears to be getting worse. But at the end of the day, we do have a remarkably functional election process that has as much integrity as any election process in the world. For that we should all be thankful. Each and every vote is truly sacrosanct in America, and the ease with which we can vote is arguably the most encouraging aspect of our modern-day political system.

My biggest concern on the day after this unusual election is with participation of the electorate. Turnout was expected to be low, and it was indeed. Fewer than 10 percent of eligible voters voted in Rowan County.

But this cannot be because of any lack of attention to the election from the Salisbury Post. Mostly, I want to say thank you to the coverage you provided the past 10 weeks.

It is cliché to say that democracy can only exist with a free and impartial press. But it could not be more true. An informed electorate is critical for democracy to thrive. And as someone who has tried to engage more than nine newspapers across the 13th Congressional District, I can honestly say that no other paper devoted as much space and energy to the election as did our hometown paper.

Each and every one of the 22 candidates in this crazy election had the opportunity to receive front page coverage with the Salisbury Post. The Post also created a very thorough voters’ guide, and posted this information online for assistance in informing the public. Because of the numbers of candidates and the shortened campaign season, there was not significant funding invested in newspaper advertising in this election. The Salisbury Post nonetheless devoted significant resources to the election cycle to ensure that our citizens were informed. I am sure that there was not an economic reward for the amount of staff time and ink devoted to this election by the Post.

I have invested a lot of time reading other publications from Iredell to Guilford County over the past couple of months. Few of them have a dedicated political reporter. Many of them do not produce a paper daily. Even more do not have a website as updated and content-rich as the Salisbury Post’s.

I am disappointed in the turnout for Tuesday’s election. But I want to commend the Salisbury Post for doing its part to let voters know about the election, and for being a very helpful resource in educating the public on the candidates and the issues. We as a society can and will surely complain about our politicians. It’s what we do. But we cannot say that we weren’t given a chance to be informed about the election and the candidates. Thanks for your coverage of this and all other elections Salisbury Post. God help us all if we ever have a world without such a resource to inform voters.

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