First look at voter turnout impressive

It was a cold, damp, dreary Tuesday with no sign of relief at the armory in Minot. Yet, despite the elements, including the first standing snow of the season, lines for voting extended at least briefly outside the building. Furthermore, inside the building, hundreds of people wound around corners and appointed lines to be able to ultimately get inside and vote.

Strictly in anecdotal terms, it was an impressive appearance of turnout.

In the days ahead, Minot Daily News will provide a comprehensive breakdown on voter turnout in Minot and Ward County. But from the first look and from observations from multiple staff members and member of the public, voter turnout looked like it was stronger than it has been in some time.

Turnout is the victory. The results are less relevant. What’s important is the battle against apathy, the participation of more voters than those who chose to stay home.

For years, Minot Daily News has strongly advocated for active participation in elections. MDN has asserted that if we have bad government, the fault rests at the feet of people who did not vote. If you don’t approve of what your government has done, but haven’t voted… well, when looking for the responsible party, start by glancing into the mirror.

Thus, the idea of a strong voter turnout is very exciting.

Already, reports have asserted that absentee and early voting numbers were very strong. The last thing that had to be evaluated was Election Day participation itself. Based on wait time up to an hour on Tuesday, that last element isn’t looking to shabby.

Sure, sure, enthusiasm should be tempered until real statistics are available.

But, under a gray sky in damp conditions, a crowded parking lot and with only mid-term items on the ballot once inside, it certainly looked as if Minot and Ward County took their civic responsibility serious this week.

By itself, that is a victory.