Our View: The direction we’ve decided to take | TheUnion.com

Our View: The direction we’ve decided to take

The election could have gone in plenty of directions.

Thankfully, it went in the one most everyone wanted: safe, efficient and timely.

Sure, even as you read this we won’t have 100% of the Nevada County vote known, at least not officially. It’s a trade off for having vote-by-mail ballots. We can’t know the precise result, because the count is still happening.

But we’ve got a pretty good idea of who won locally and statewide, as well as the outcome of ballot measures across our county and California.

As for the president, well, that’s a different story.

Regardless of who and what you voted for up and down the ballot, all of us should be proud of how this election was and is being carried out locally.

Lines, if they existed, were fairly short at local vote centers. A vast majority of people wore masks, and didn’t need to be chastened to put them on.

The same scene appeared to play out at designated drop-off sites. Around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Eric Rood Administrative Center a line of vehicles waited to reach the drop box. Others parked and walked inside to vote.

The cars slowly advanced, and the votes delivered — an act played out not only across this county, but seemingly across our whole country.

For the lead up to this election, it was a welcome development.

Yes, there have been problems here. One election official pointed to electioneering in prohibited areas as a greater problem this year. It’s people’s polarization, she said. Most have obeyed, but those that haven’t grew more insistent when staff intervened.

This kind of behavior must be condemned. Elections make our country’s foundation, and these rules — though some might scoff at them — exist for good reason.

You cover your campaign button when you vote in person. You stay the proper distance from vote centers and ballot drop boxes.

These are rules to not only ensure people don’t feel intimidated when they vote, but to eliminate the appearance of impropriety.

By following these rules we can have safe, efficient and timely elections.

And — hopefully, once all the ballots are counted — we can release the collective breath we’ve been holding for months.

Depending on your political leanings and interest, you waited for this election for over a year. The build up to any presidential election is tiring. This one was acidic. Washington, D.C., politicians might as well be the boogeymen in stories we tell our children. From where we sit in Nevada County, they’re about as real as the ghost haunting the attic.

Those politicians on the national stage don’t have to define how we conduct ourselves. You won’t find the vitriol hurled at them tossed with equal candor at local officials, at least not with the same fervor.

That’s because we all live here in the same community as neighbors, friends, coworkers and business partners. Insults and name calling are for the D.C. boogeymen, not for the person you wave to every day when getting your mail.

That’s one reason the events of Aug. 9 in Nevada City shocked many, as they should have. Violence in our streets — not on a TV somewhere, or mentioned online — forced this community to look in the mirror.

And if we didn’t like what we saw, then hopefully we’ve changed since staring into the looking glass.

The Tuesday election in Nevada County in many ways demonstrated who we are. Yes, the vote count is slow. The elections office has new people, who have been working nights and weekends to handle our ballots. They’re kind and helpful when dealing with the public that sometimes doesn’t return the favor.

And us, the voters, we’re a pretty good bunch, too. There were no serious problems, mechanical or otherwise, on election day. We waited in short lines, cast our ballots and returned to our lives — without rancor or anger or malice.

That’s the direction we chose to take with this election.

The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@ TheUnion.com.

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