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Good to see strong voter turnout Tuesday

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

As Americans, we’re accustomed to waiting in lines. We wait in line to eat. We wait in line to shop. We wait in line to catch the bus and to pay our bills. In most cases, waiting in line is an everyday annoyance, something we deal with because we have to.

But on Tuesday, many Brunswick County residents found a good reason to stand in line—for a chance to vote in this year’s primary election.

When it comes to national races, in many years Brunswick County residents have felt as if their votes really didn’t matter. With our primary coming late in the season, usually by the time the election comes around in May, the main political contenders for the Democratic and Republican races have already been determined. While John McCain had easily secured his bid by our primary, the Democratic race between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama gave some voters extra reason to head to the polls on Tuesday.

The fate of a number of state race contenders—like North Carolina’s governor candidates—was also a good reason some voters found to get out and vote.

Closer to home, important races for the Brunswick County Board of Education and the Brunswick County Commissioners were decided on the primary ballot.

In light of a number of important, controversial issues faced by the school system and the county, Tuesday gave all registered voters a chance to have a say in how they think the school system and county government should be run in the future.

Precincts throughout North Carolina had steady voter turnout all day. Around 5 p.m. at one of the polling stations in Shallotte, for example, a number of voters made sure to stop by the poll booth right after work. Poll workers in Brunswick County reported numbers were high for a May primary.

We are delighted to see a strong turnout from Brunswick County residents. While official numbers weren’t available to us at press time Tuesday night, early indications show people believe the decisions made in this election are important ones.

Soon, the dust of the election crowds will settle. Phone calls soliciting support will cease. Campaign advertising will dwindle off with a few thank you’s. Candidates’ election signs will slowly, but surely, be removed from our landscape. For a while, things will go back to normal throughout North Carolina. But as things quiet down, you can count on it not lasting long.

In November, the last push forward for political offices for the upcoming year will be made. We hope again to see high voter turnout. Every vote counts in every election. It’s good to see people believed that this time around.