Voting represents the best in America

Dave Bergmeier

Eligible voters across the High Plains will be casting ballots (many may have already done so with advance voting) in the presidential election on Nov. 3.

The prizefight is for the president and that race been a heated one between incumbent Donald Trump, a Republican, and challenger Joe Biden, a Democrat. It has been more than a dustup, and while it is the star attraction on the election card—and the one voters are mostly talking about—there will be many other races and special questions that will likely have a greater impact on the bottom line of farmers and ranchers and rural residents.

The closer a constituent is to the governing entity the more essential it becomes to be informed and align your vote with someone who can best represent your views. What are you to do if your candidate loses? First, recognize that there are others who have differing views than yourself. It should not detract from your civic responsibility to communicate when he or she becomes the seated elected official.

The best elected officials listen to constituents. They do not want be swayed by special interests. They should and do want to hear from you. There are successful campaigns in which the winner only panders to special interests. Take heart in understanding the voting public has a way of repaying the “lack of interest” in future elections.

At the local level, special questions can be in front of a voter. In the High Plains region questions have included ones near and dear to rural communities, such as the right to farm or greater clarification on state constitutional amendments. Those questions deserve due diligence. Many times they may not seem like one that might impact yet even the most innocent of questions may impact your future bottom line—whether it means higher taxes or a change in how your property might be zoned—and can even hinder a younger generation to take over a farm.

Voters, certainly in 2020, are challenged because of COVID-19, yet they will confidently cast their ballots knowing their vote is legitimate. They are continuing the commitment that recognizes America is the best show on earth. Stories abound from 100-year-olds to first-time voters casting their ballot to elect the leader of the free world. That is awe-inspiring and is of more meaning than the trite phrase “this is the most important election in this nation’s history” because they are all important.

2020 is historic in a more important way because it is a time to celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment. That amendment, which was ratified by states, was added to our living Constitution and recognized that American women had the right to vote in the presidential election. America was never the same and became a better democracy because of an initiative with roots that started before the Civil War.

Elections are about the future and it is a duty that requires an engaged and informed electorate. What a great time to be a voter.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].