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We were told breathlessly and non-stop that this year's election was the most important of a generation. Macon County did its bit as voters turned out at the highest numbers in 20 years.

Were there races where we were compelled to hold our nose and make a choice? Sure, same as every election. There cases where some of us voted for a candidate who had no real chance at victory, but we wanted to send some kind of message into the world, either directed at a specific candidate or at a political party.

But those people all voted, which is the important thing.

Yet the majority of the country's eligible voters again decided to stay home Tuesday, or at least steer clear of the polls. What that does, in effect, is make the votes of those who go to the trouble all the more valuable. The simple fact is not even three of every five eligible voters cast votes in this critical campaign. What that ultimately tells us is a significant portion of Americans don't mind the decisions being made by a group of voters who trouble themselves to take the time.

There's always room to increase the number of voters, and that's always a discussion worth having. But today, let's salute every voter who took part in this year's election.

In a continuation of the mood of the country during the 2016 national campaign, circumstances led to wildly divisive and wildly divergent positions. We saw that again with state and national campaigns. Surprisingly and to our relief, at least the country campaigns seemed to maintain some sense of decorum. Delightfully enough, the tone in those campaigns seemed to lean more toward a candidate saying “I think I can do this job well” as opposed to painting their opponent with criticism and wild accusations. Thank you to those who participated in those campaigns.

We also thank the number of citizens who fought off lethargy and indifference, deciding to make the effort and take the opportunity to vote.

A popular idiom says “if you don't vote, you have no right to complain.” That's silly, of course. Any citizen has the right to complain. By voting, however, a person earns the right to complain. Voting and volunteering are the two best ways to effectively and first-hand implement change.

Our community overflows with volunteers to the point that we regularly and understandably brag about it. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do the same thing with our voting? Maybe Tuesday marks a start.

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