Our view: Election fatigue expected, but stay vigilant

With Nov. 8 fast approaching, endorsement letters are done


October 28, 2022

There’s a familiar phrase you hear often this time of year, right along with “Winter? Already?” and “What are you going to be for Halloween?” The one we are talking about is “I can’t wait until it’s all over.”

Elections can be trying like that. There are the endless commercials and mailers, often negative, and the constant thrum of wondering just how the results will change things.

Here at the Pine Knot, we’ve been proud to offer a voting guide that can help you make an informed choice. We are also thankful to readers who took the time to write letters in support of their preferred candidates or issues. Unlike most newspapers these days, the Pine Knot does not charge a fee for allowing people a place to voice their opinion. Whether you read endorsement letters or not, the volume we’ve seen shows there is indeed an engrossed voting public out there. That’s a good thing. And most writers have focussed on races right here at home.

Today’s issue is the last that will feature political letters. That’s because we want anyone who wants to offer a rebuttal a chance to do so before the Nov. 8 election. Next week’s issue can feature letters of direct rebuttal to any letters we’ve run in the past few weeks. And, of course, we encourage letters on local issues all year long. It keeps us on our toes as well as the elected officials.

Forget the polarization we’ve seen in national politics. It’s the local races that will have the largest impact on daily life here and around Carlton County. City, county, township and school races will ultimately define how our government entities are run, and hit your bottom line when it comes to taxes and the quality of life here.

The votes to boost income from sales taxes, to pay for the new county jail and shore up recreational venues in Cloquet, are indicative of how democracy works. Leave it for the people to decide directly how palatable they find plans for utilizing public money.

All of it is democracy at work. It’s important. It is vital. Yes, election season can be annoying, but, like winter, it is unavoidable.

Some races have only one candidate, very few have none at all. The large number of school board candidates, in particular, is a good sign this year that people will step up and serve. That is something to celebrate come Election Day, no matter who comes out on top.

We have no qualms with those wishing the season to end. We just hope that the passion on that score will be as apparent all year-round when it comes to following how our elected officials are handling things. Don’t let the politics of the moment remove you from engagement on the whole.

The engagement we’ve seen on this page for candidates and issues shouldn’t end on Nov. 8.

Take a break and celebrate all things Halloween the next few days. And remember that Nov. 8 isn’t a finish line. It’s a starting line. Stay engaged.


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