General Election 2018 held much to celebrate. Voters turned out — for a midterm election — in record numbers across the nation. Southern Indiana voters added their ballots in turnout rivaling a presidential election year. That’s impressive engagement.

Even the weather cooperated in our Ohio River Valley communities. No rain. No snow. Just a brisk wind that played havoc with Election Day hairdos and hats.

Voters embraced the importance of Tuesday’s election. Divisive national politics likely played a role for some, who either applaud or appall the direction the country is taking under President Donald Trump’s leadership.

But they didn’t let the negativity — including the relentless campaign attack ads — dampen their enthusiasm. In fact, the shameful tactics may have spurred voters to make known their voices.

As Ava Larkins, waiting in line to vote at American Legion Post 42, told the News and Tribune this is one of the most important elections of her lifetime. A nurse, she is concerned about health care.

So was voter Whitney Stover, who said this election is important for the things that will affect her son, including education.

Young people were active on Election Day, too. Floyd Central High School students Kate Meldrum, Maggie Oliver and Elana Burger worked the polls. “I wasn’t able to vote this cycle, so I was like, I’m going to help other people vote,” Meldrum told us.

Eighteen-year-old Ella Harrison called her first-time voting experience “awesome.” She also gave a shoutout to poll workers, who made the voting process “super easy.”

Not knowing what to expect, Harrison marveled at the camaraderie among the voters in line. It was a pleasant surprise “just because there’s been so much build-up to this election and I didn’t know if the people standing next to me in line were Democrats or Republicans, but we were all still laughing and trying to pass the time together.”

At the end of the day, we’re all just Americans who get to choose our leaders and help chart the direction of our nation.

Voter Larry Clark sees the big picture. He and his family were just doing their part, their civic duty, he said.

He wasn’t alone.

Democracy won the election Tuesday — big time.

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