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November 06, 2008 4:20 am

Election Day historic, voter turnout impressive

Written by Tribune Staff

After an epic campaign season, voters in Park County turned out in remarkable numbers. Voters broke the record for absentee ballots with an impressive 4,217 early ballots, up from the previous record of 3,278.

At the national level, this campaign certainly was historic. At local and state levels, there were no big surprises, but a strong turnout —102 percent of registered voters — showed that voters were invested in this election and wanted their voices to be heard. Cynicism and apathy among Americans hopefully are quieting as freshly-elected candidates take office in the near future.

Locally and nationally, new leaders were chosen.

Nationally, Democrat Barack Obama's election as the 44th president, and first black president in U.S. history, shows Americans were hungry for change and hopeful that Obama will deliver.

Rather than focus on colors — white and black, blue and red — Obama said Tuesday Americans “sent a message to the world that we aren't a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America.”

In a time of economic turmoil, warfare and uncertainty, America needs to stand united.

For Obama to succeed in his presidency, he must govern from the center, not strictly from the left.

In his concession speech, Republican John McCain echoed the sentiment of a united America. He urged his supporters to “find ways to come together to find the necessary comprises to bridge our differences.”

Americans are hopeful that these eloquent words, spoken by Obama and McCain, resonate in our society and are more than mere words, but provide actual results.

Locally, Powell re-elected Scott Mangold as its mayor. Mangold is devoted to the Powell community, has learned much in his first term and hopefully will carry those lessons into four more successful years as mayor.

Mangold is one of Powell's most-recognized voices, and his commitment to promote the town and listen to its citizens will continue to benefit the community. Mangold's strong support among local voters — nearly 64 percent — indicates Powell residents trust his leadership and believe that he's taking the town in the right direction.

Campaign season is finally behind us, but elected leaders know that the work is just beginning.