Commendable government

Published 4:27 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Whether the government in question is local, state or federal, we have certain words that come to mind describing what we want that government to be like. These words include “just,” “responsible,” “intelligent,” etc. Another key word we hear a lot is “transparent.”

History has shown that all of these traits seem to be difficult for governments to live up to, though governments have their moments. Checks and balances have proven important to helping elevate the overall character of government in the U.S.

For this to work properly, though, it takes moral, conscientious individuals, who ultimately are the ones who populate our governments.

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We are grateful to have many such individuals here, elevating the overall character of government in the area.

Honing in on a specific example reported on recently by The Herald, Nov. 6 marked the first large-scale write-in election Prince Edward County had seen since the county switched its voting system from using an all-electric system with a touchscreen interface to paper ballots submitted to a machine. This write-in election was for the Lockett District seat on the Prince Edward County School Board.

The race ended up being incredibly close. The county received 337 total votes, and Douglas Farley narrowly prevailed, 100-98, against Patricia Carter.

We asked to see the ballots in November, and in response, Prince Edward County General Registrar Lynette Wright invited us to see them firsthand and to learn about the process the registrar’s office in Prince Edward had in place during the election.

That visit enabled us to produce and run a story that gave remarkable insight into the registrar office’s process. Among other things, voters had the opportunity to read about how the write-in election had a local board of electors that determined which votes met state guidelines and which did not, and we were made aware of sensible policies governing that process.

We are grateful to Wright and the office for its transparency that revealed to us — and in turn voters — a fair-minded, scrupulous and astute example of government.