Whether or not Tuesday's election turned out the way they wanted it to, voters in Mifflin and Juniata counties have much of which to be proud.
Those voters were not shy about exercising their muscles at the ballot box. In Mifflin County, about 65 percent of registered voters went to the polls. And in Juniata County, 71 percent cast ballots. This region typically does better than the average, but that sort of turnout is simply fantastic.
Oh, Election Day wasn't perfect. At a number of precincts, voters faced long lines. That's the price you pay when so many come out to vote. Anyway, it appears that nobody minded too much.
Clearly, local voters took this election very seriously. And as is sometimes the case, Juniata Valley citizens bucked some very big national trends. Mifflin County voters cast 11,893 ballots for Mitt Romney, and 4,259 for Barack Obama, according to unofficial totals. It was much the same in Juniata County: 6,821 for Romney and 2,533 for Obama. Statewide, Obama received about 2.9 million votes compared to Romney's 2.6 million, according to unofficial reports.
In other words, not all of Pennsylvania is "blue."
We want to congratulate all who made it to the polls and exercised their voting privilege. To be sure, it was easier to do that here than in regions damaged by Sandy a week before Election Day. Hats off to those sturdy folks, and here's wishing them a speedy recovery from the devastation.
It's encouraging to see so many vote. Now attention must be paid to those eligible citizens who are not registered to vote. We're not sure what it will take to convince them that voting is a privilege that should not be ignored, but we're more than willing to listen to any suggestions.
This republic that is the United States of America cannot endure without citizen participation. The more that take part, the stronger we become.
If you are not registered, please do so before the spring primary. If you are signed up, never lose the will to head for the polls twice a year.