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Press deadlines can be fickle things. Weekly columns must be submitted to newspapers by noon Monday for print and distribution from Wednesday to Friday. I’m writing this week’s column about 36 hours before the Election Night results are revealed. There’s no crystal ball handy for me to make a prediction on how Tuesday will go, but I’ll give it my best shot.
Voter turnout looks like it will be the highest it has ever been. For the first time, over 150 million people will have their say in our country’s future by casting a vote. Regardless of your party affiliation, we can all agree that high voter participation is a good thing.
There’s a chance that by the time you read this column in your local newspaper, we still won’t know the results of the election. National pundits are claiming that it could all come down to a count of mail-in ballots or recounts in Pennsylvania, Florida, or even Nebraska’s Second Congressional District. Those counts could take days or weeks and face several court challenges. The 2020 election cycle has been one without precedent and such a close result would pretty well reflect how this year has gone. I hope that the prayers of our election administrators are answered and the election’s outcome is definitively concluded on Election Night.
I also hope that predictions of widespread rioting and violence don’t materialize. 2020 has been hard enough on our main street businesses. Those who decide to riot and destroy private property in response to an election result are no better than toddlers throwing tantrums in the middle of a grocery store. Those actions do nothing to help heal our country and move it forward.
On a local level, dozens of District 1 residents have answered the call to serve their communities by placing their name on the ballot. It takes courage to run for any office, and those who ran should be proud of their efforts, regardless of the outcome. Those who voted in this election should take pride in that action, as well. Please, stay involved in government even after the red, white, and blue decorations have been cleared and replaced with Christmas decor. Carved into Nebraska’s Capitol is the phrase, “The salvation of the state is watchfulness in the citizen.” Let’s work together to make sure those are more than just idealistic words carved in limestone.
As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509-4604; telephone 402-471-2733; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.