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An Echo Press Editorial: Let's learn from this election

By the Echo Press Editorial Board

Voter going into polling place
A voter enters the polling place for Ward 3 at New Life Christian Church in Alexandria on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. In addition to the statewide races for governor, secretary of state, attorney general and a U.S. representative, Douglas County voters are also selecting office holders for school boards, city councils, Douglas County Board, Minnesota Senate and Minnesota House.
Lowell Anderson / Alexandria Echo Press
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And now the hard part.

People in Douglas County did their part. More than 19,800 voted either in person, through the mail or by early voting.

They selected the candidates whom they believed would be most effective. Will they be right or wrong? Time may tell — or it may not. Those who voted for candidates who did not win will, more than likely, be looking for things that will prove them right while those who voted for those who won will be searching for proof that their decision was on target.

Just once, it would be nice if voters weren't so quick to criticize when their "side" lost or so quick to gloat when their candidates win.

Just once, it would be nice if voters and candidates could clear the slate and focus on working together for the betterment of their state and nation instead of dwelling on the "R" or "D" after our leaders' names.

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Just once, it would be nice if voters at the local level would drop any lingering negativity they have toward candidates they did not support and instead direct that energy into making their schools, councils and counties more successful with their ideas and involvement.

Just once, let's not allow the results of an election to divide us even more. Instead, let it usher in a new spirit of cooperation and positivity that pulls us toward a common goal — making our communities, our state and our nation a better place to live.

Voters have endured a lot over the last few months — TV ads from both major political parties that accused opponents of all sorts of evilness while elevating their own candidates as saints. Seeing all that money wasted on political attacks that were akin to children fighting in a sandbox is enough to make potential voters tune out of the process.

But that would be the wrong thing to do. Voters have to hang in there and get more involved and informed than ever. The government, at every level, doesn't run well on auto-pilot. So just because another election is in the books, doesn't mean that voters can retire to their couches until the next election arises. The real work lies ahead: Holding elected officials to their promises, contacting them, asking questions, going to meetings, sharing your ideas, being respectful while listening to other points of view, separating facts from fiction, and coming up with suggestions and solutions instead of unloading a barrage of complaints.

Let's learn something from the 2022 Election.

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By the Echo Press Editorial board
by the Echo Press Editorial Board