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Local Opinion: Making elections work, voters deserve kudos, too

The following is the opinion and analysis of the writer:

A few days ago, the Arizona Daily Star published an op-ed giving well-earned thanks to Florida’s many election workers. They did all they could to ensure their state’s midterms were fair, accurate and as smooth as possible.

I’d like to extend the same thanks to Arizona’s election workers, at every level. You did a great job under difficult circumstances, and we all owe you a big shout-out for a job well done.

But let’s not forget the beneficiaries of all that hard work, and I’m not talking about the people running for office. Every voter deserves a gold star for considering the issues and the candidates, and for taking the time to be part of our cornerstone political process.

Even if you didn’t put much thought into it and just voted a straight party ticket or had to hold your nose as you chose the best-of-the-worst candidates — still, you voted. You took the time to step up and let your voice be heard.

Like democracy itself, elections are never seamless. Often, they’re downright messy. Do results sometimes take longer than we’d like? Yes. Do voting machines ever have issues? Yes. Do supporters ever cross the line into incivility or worse? Yes.

But, while bumps and warts can make things complicated, they’ll never break an election. Only the voters can do that, by not showing up.

Naturally, I have my own opinions about who should—and who should not—be elected. Being chosen to lead is a privilege and a responsibility. It’s serious business and should be treated as such. But my opinion is just that. Winning elective office is the result of many opinions, expressed by the choices voters make. If my candidate didn’t win, there’s always a next time.

If you think one vote — yours — doesn’t matter, think again. Consider two cliffhanging races in Arizona: Katie Hobbs versus Kari Lake, for governor; Blake Masters versus Mark Kelly, for senator. Talk about clear choices!

Then there’s Lauren Boebert, riding the vote-counting seesaw in Colorado. In Georgia, the campaigning continues until December, when a runoff election will decide who goes to the Senate, Herschel Walker or Raphael Warnock.

In 2000’s presidential election, George W. Bush edged out Al Gore in Florida to win the state’s 25 electoral votes, and thus the election, by 537 actual votes. That’s roughly the population of Bowie, Arizona. Every vote counts.

So congratulations, voters, for doing your part in helping our elections mean something. But don’t stop now; like rust, voting never sleeps. Tucson will select a mayor and three city council members next year. And then — here comes 2024.

Follow these steps to easily submit a letter to the editor or guest opinion to the Arizona Daily Star.

Judith B. Clinco, RN, BS, is a concerned citizen, founder and president of Tucson-based Catalina In-Home Services Inc. and founder of the CareGiver Training Institute.

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