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Our rugged democracy

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, voters in Wisconsin broke a record. They cast 3,296,374 votes in the Trump vs. Biden presidential election, nearly a 10 percent increase over the last presidential contest. Most people who could vote did vote. The state has 4.5 million people of voting age. Seventy-three percent of those individuals cast ballots. Marathon County contributed to this huge turnout. Nine-one percent of all registered votes cast a ballot. One local township, the town of Bern, recorded a 104 percent turnout (with people who registered on Election Day).

Our politics may be polarized and troubled, but our democracy is healthy, robust.

In the lead up to the election, both parties expressed worries about a stifled, suppressed election. We heard about the limited counting of absentee ballots, fraud, voter intimidation and more.

Those concerns were answered by people who voted in mass numbers.

Our democracy is far from perfect. It is hobbled by gerrymandering, racist-inspired rules over balloting and strange institutions, such as the Electoral College. But it is strong. We are the world’s oldest democracy. We’ve seen a lot of heated, contentious elections that stress test the bonds that hold us together as a country. That steel doesn’t bust.

Tuesday’s vote proved to the world that our democracy is tough, even rugged. Americans believe in democracy down to their inner core being.

The media has declared Joe Biden the winner of Tuesday’s contest, but that is not official. The results of the presidential election will be challenged by the Trump campaign in the courts and through demanded recounts. So be it. We have faith in our voting system to produce a fair result. Let the process be done.

We have seen small segments of both the left and right in this country brandish weapons over the past several months and threaten violence to settle political differences.

In contrast, the vast majority of Americans, including Wisconsinites, prefer voting over bloodshed. That was proven last week Tuesday.