Much could be said about the recent election, but before we turn our attention back to the press of everyday concerns, it’s worth noting what a remarkable thing happened in the Town of Washington on Election Day.
In a town with roughly 130 full-time and part-time residents and some 112 registered voters, 76 cast ballots for Town officials. Turnout for the Town election — the first one to take place since Town elections were scheduled to coincide with a statewide general election — represented 68 percent of registered voters.
While the candidates for Mayor and Treasurer ran unopposed, seven candidates ran for the remaining five seats on Town Council. All nine candidates ran commendable campaigns, expending considerable time and effort to make sure their neighbors knew who they were and why they were seeking their votes. The 27 write-in votes further suggests the considerable interest of Town residents in this most recent election.
While some may have been disappointed in the election results, I found it reassuring that so many who live in the Town of Washington decided to participate in the most fundamental form of American democracy — voting in a free and fair election to determine who “governs.”
If, as it’s frequently said, “all politics is local,” the democratic process appears to be alive and well in Little Washington. I suspect that George Washington himself — “the first Washington of them all” — would be quite pleased that in a town named after him, founded in 1746 and officially chartered in 1796, local citizens continue to exercise one of the most basic rights enjoyed by the people of a free and democratic nation.