As I write this post there is still no decision about the outcome of our national election for President of the United States. Ballots are still being counted and there probably will not be a full conclusion to this election for several days.
I think many were concerned about the possible outcomes of this election. Stores in many cities were boarded up, law enforcement was on high alert and there was some genuine fear about what could happen on election day. With all that we have experienced with COVID-19, racial injustice, rioting, conflicts in our streets and so much more things felt very tenuous with fear about what the outcomes would be.
What is amazing is that we had the largest turnout in our history. Both candidates are receiving record numbers of votes. The percentages of turnout were in the 70th percentile in our country and people were more active politically than I have ever seen in my lifetime.
It was very comforting and encouraging to me to stand in line for 1 ½ hours with people who were calm, friendly and present to participate in our democracy. The process was orderly, friendly, respectful and very organized. You felt the ease of motion of the judges and volunteers and there was great enthusiasm throughout the socially distanced lines. Everyone wore masks and kept a safe distance from each other. The inside of the church gym we voted in was clean, well-spaced and the systems of voting was made clear by the volunteer staff. We filled out our paper ballots and put them in the counting machine. The whole environment was overseen by courteous and proficient individuals who were extremely professional.
There are so many reasons to celebrate this day of democracy in action. Our country was active in the voting process and although we are still in limbo on the results, it has been a respectful process among our citizens which is incredibly encouraging as we work towards the conclusions and next steps in our American government.
So no matter what the outcomes, the American people had a strong voice in their vote. That is the hallmark of democracy. Thus far there have been little or no actions of violence and our state officials have been diligent to protect votes and work for a fair and impartial process. Few countries have the great opportunities and freedoms that we have in America and we should be proud of our process in this 2020 election.
It is my sincere hope that our next steps will continue to be civil and empowering to all Americans. I hope we will be able to listen to one another as we attempt to unite our country around our ideals of equality, freedom, justice, care for each other and prosperity. In this election I have been proud to be a citizen of this great country and hope to continue to serve our youth and families with respect, integrity and care for those in need.