Election is over, but voters still need to continue paying attention

  • Friday, November 23, 2018 1:30am
  • Opinion

While Island County historically has had high voter turnout, those who voted in the county were unusually attentive and involved in the mid-term election this year. Nearly 76 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. Normally the number is around 60 percent.

That’s something to be proud of.

And the candidates, those who won and lost, should also feel good that they took part in the election process at a grassroots level, which is the foundation of democracy.

With so many people voting, it’s hard to argue that a “blue wave” of Democratic voters ruled the day in Island County, though national politics and events likely had an impact.

People are paying attention. On Whidbey Island, it was all about state and county races. People crowded into a long series of voter forums prior to the election to hear from candidates for county commissioner, sheriff and two state representative positions. Social media was busy with local election comments.

Some of the results were surprising.

The race between Republican state Rep. Dave Hayes and Democrat Dave Paul was too close to call until late last week, when Hayes conceded.

Island County voters supported Initiative 1639, the controversial gun control measure, by a yes vote of nearly 56 percent . Contrary to some social media claims, the initiative’s passage doesn’t mean people under 21 will have to give up their deer rifles. The prohibition is only on so-called assault rifles, though defining one is a tricky question that may end up in court — along with the rest of the initiative.

In addition, 56 percent of the voters in the county were in favor of Initiative 940, which is also a controversial measure. It’s about police training and criminal liability in cases of deadly force.

It changes the law that made it virtually impossible to convict a police officer of killing someone, no matter the situation.

The initiative passed in the state with nearly 60 percent of the vote.

Hopefully, voters will continue paying attention as the candidates become elected officials and start making decisions that affect us all.

More in Opinion

Cartoon for Feb. 20, 2019

Cartoon for Feb. 20, 2019… Continue reading

Letter: Fear Navy wasn’t working in good faith now confirmed

Editor, I read in the Feb. 2 South Whidbey Record on Feb.… Continue reading

Letter: Something must be done now about global warming

Editor, Climate change is happening now. The latest climate report from the… Continue reading

Letter: Parks and Rec has work to do before asking for money

Editor, Your two front page articles in the Jan. 30 edition of… Continue reading

Cartoon for Feb. 16, 2019

Cartoon for Feb. 16, 2019… Continue reading

PUBLISHER’S COLUMN: Lawmakers should follow true science, pass HB1683

Growing up in Anacortes during the 1970s, we would line up in… Continue reading

Letter: Exposure to jet noise is harmful to your health

Editor, Noise exposure from military jets has long been shown to cause… Continue reading

Letter: Wondering if the Navy has problem with credibility

Editor, The Navy Growler EIS makes dubious assertions, as well as verbal… Continue reading

Letter: Fractional reserve lending a good deal for state residents

Editor, Former state treasurer Duane A. Davidson is opposed to the citizens… Continue reading

Most Read