Brent Boyer: This year’s election was a historic one | SteamboatToday.com

Brent Boyer: This year’s election was a historic one

Brent Boyer

Murray Tucker passes by a Barack Obama cutout Tuesday at the Steamboat Springs Obama election headquarters. More than 90 percent of active voters in Routt County made their voices heard this year.

The votes have been cast and counted, and although it’s a relief to have the election season behind us, I also find it a little bittersweet. Election night is what being a journalist is all about, and the morning after an election is a reminder that the next ballot now is 364 days away.

That said, I’m excited to return the focus of our daily coverage to the workings of Routt County and Steamboat Springs. But first, my thoughts on the historic election of 2008:

– The election of Barack Obama as the first black president seems to have dissolved barriers not only for Americans, but also for those throughout the world. As a nation, we sent a message that transcended politics Tuesday, and I’m as proud as ever to be an American.

– Kudos to Kay Weinland and the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, not to mention the volunteers from across the county who served as election judges and poll watchers. While the presidential election wrapped up fairly early, several local races went down to the wire – and into the wee hours of Wednesday morning. And while our neighboring counties still were counting, Routt County’s votes were announced in a timely manner. Tuesday’s success can, in part, be attributed to the work of the citizens election review committee, formed after the disastrous 2006 elections. More electronic voting machines and a push toward early and mail-in voting helped make Election Day run smoothly.

– The scores of Routt County and Colorado voters who chose to vote early or by mail made voting on Election Day a breeze. While long lines were reported across the country, I cast my ballot and collected my “I voted” sticker in record time.

– Routt County once again voted heavily Democratic across the board – almost. State Senate District 8 candidate Ken Brenner was the only Democrat not to receive a majority of the votes from county electors. He fell 1,000 votes short of Republican opponent Al White in the county. White went on to win the race to replace Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs.

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– News coverage on election night and the following days often focuses on the winners. I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate those local and regional candidates who didn’t win the popular vote Tuesday but who made the effort and sacrificed their time and money to run for public office. Tammy Stewart, Ken Brenner, Todd Hagenbuch, Jill Brake and Wayne Wolf: Thank you for giving voters another solid option.

– More than 90 percent of active voters in Routt County made their voices heard in the 2008 election. A democracy relies on participation from its citizens, and living in a community where voters take that responsibility seriously is refreshing.

– I hope you found the Steamboat Pilot & Today and http://www.steamboatpilot.com helpful as a source for your Election Day information. If you have any feedback about our election coverage, I’m all ears. Call me at 871-4221, e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com or stop by our Curve Plaza office.